Stanford Cardinal podcast with Joey Friedman: Cardinal’s Pickens leads with offensive game against WSU

Photo credit: gostanford.com

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Joey:

#1 The Stanford Cardinal (9-8) got a win over Washington State (8-8) at Pullman on Thursday night 79-70.

#2 The Cardinal’s Dorian Pickens led the Cardinal with 28 points and Pickens got a three-pointerat 1:16 left to help the Cardinal in their nine-point win.

#3 KZ Okpala scored 21 points and Daejon Davis scored 6-7 field goals and 15 points.

#4 WSU’s Malachi Flynn led the Cougars with 24 points and had seven three-pointers.

#5 The Cardinal play at Oregon this Sunday at 5 pm.

Joey Friedman does the Stanford podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Cardinal survive wild finish to topple Sun Devils 84-83 in season finale

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, March 3, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. – Playing in the Pac-12’s version of a home-away-from-home game, Phoenix native Dorian Pickens torched the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-10, 8-10 Pac-12) with 20 second-half points as the Stanford Cardinal (17-14, 11-7 Pac-12) hung on for a wild 84-83 win at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday afternoon.

“It was one of those things where (the emotions of coming back home) doesn’t really hit you until after the game,” said Pickens, a former Pinnacle High School graduate. “In the pregame, I’m just thinking about my teammates and trying to get the win. We were able to do that and my teammates helped send me out the right way.”

“It felt great to be able to come back home and come out of it with a victory. I had a lot of people here, maybe 20, 25, a lot of friends and family, and all of the above!”

On his offensive exploits in the second half, Pickens said, “I just wanted to be more aggressive, around the perimeter, especially.”

“He’s just a big-time player,” Cardinal Coach Jerod Haase said of Pickens. “It’s not really a surprise, but a great feeling to see him do that, especially at home in front of family and friends.”

“To win on the road against a team like (ASU) meant a lot.”

Reid Travis scored 24 points (8-of-14 field goals) and grabbed 14 of Stanford’s 45 rebounds. Kezie Okpala added 18 points and 10 boards for the Cardinal, who hit 51 percent (27-of-53) from the field.

Going into Saturday’s regular season finale, Travis was averaging 22.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last four games.

Travis described the final five minutes as “hectic. I wish we would have taken care of the ball a little bit more, but we got stops when we needed to, so I couldn’t be happier with the way we finished out the game.”

The victory gave Stanford a shot at finishing in the top four of the Pac-12 standings and a first-round bye in the conference’s upcoming postseason tournament in Las Vegas.

“In the non-conference, we battled and stuck together, which was really cool,” Haase said. “After the loss at home to Cal, our team has done some nice things. I think there’s still a long way to go with our quality of play, but the mental side, the competitiveness, is really cool to see as a coach.”

“Regardless of where we wind up, we’re going into (the Pac-12 tournament) excited.”

The Sun Devils, who struggled in conference play after a blazing start, look for redemption in the Pac-12 tournament. Tra Holder led ASU’s balanced attack with 19 points, followed by Shannon Evans II with 17 and 14 points each by Kodi Justice and Remy Martin.

Holder, Evans and Justice each hit three 3-pointers as the Devils were 10-of-27 behind the arc.

“This game is who we are,” ASU Coach Bobby Hurley said. “We have an amazing will to win, and character. The make the plays we made and claw our way back, we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

“I love my chances with the group I have against whoever we play in the postseason in Vegas and in the NCAA tournament.”

The Cardinal led by 19 points less than four minutes into the second half after opening the half with a 15-1 run after leading 40-35 at the break. But with basketball being a game of runs, Arizona State battled back with a 16-4 run, capped by Kimani Lawrence’s layup at 12:45, pulling the Devils to within 59-54.

“In 20 or 18 minutes against a team like this, there was never a comfort level at all,” Haase said. “Our guys stayed steadfast, continued to score on the offensive end, and we got enough stops on defense.”

Hurley said, “We got behind and always fought to get back in it. I thought the difference in the game could be as simple as the last four minutes of the first half, and we had empty possessions where we didn’t make shots that we usually make.”

“To start the second half, we didn’t have enough energy and (Stanford) was able to generate the lead that they did.”

Over the next three minutes, the Cardinal pushed their lead back to 11 on a Pickens 3-pointer, but ASU battled back again. Kodi Justice drained a 3 with 3:05 to play as the Sun Devils used a 5-minute, 16-7 run to cut their deficit to 79-77.

Another 3-pointer by Justice with 1:13 remaining tied the game at 82-82, but Arizona State could never surge ahead while both teams struggled at the free throw line down the stretch.

Daejon Davis, playing with four fouls, hit a jumper at :42 to break the deadlock, and on the ensuing possession, Justice missed a pair of free throws with :20 left. Two seconds later, Pickens missed two free throws, and after Josh Sharma missed a layup, Justice sank 1-of-2 foul shots to cut Stanford’s lead to 84-83 with 5 seconds remaining.

“Daejon has done so many great things throughout the year and he made a key basket late again,” Haase said. “For a freshman, he has a level of poise and calmness about him that, I think, spreads to the rest of the team.”

After Travis turned the ball over on an inbound play, ASU had one final possession, but Martin missed a short jumper as time expired.

“We made some mistakes, but they made some too,” Haase said. “There were some tough shots, some tough 3s. I thought we played with a great deal of poise and I thought this game would have a lot of ebbs and flows. And it did.”

The Pac-12 Tournament starts Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball takes down WSU 86-84; Davis’ free throws break tie with 10 seconds remaining

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO–The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (15-13) received a visit from the Washington State Cougars (11-16) at Maples Pavilion on Saturday, which was also Senior Day for the Cardinal.

Cougars’ Drick Bernstine made the first basket of the game, the start of the team’s lead over the Cardinal. It was not until the 7:35 mark that the Cardinal caught the lead.

Unlike Thursday’s match against the Washington Huskies, however, the Cardinal’s lead never made it to the double digits. The highest score by which they exceeded the Cougars was seven, as they kept managing to inch their way close to a tie, until the end of the period when Michael Humphrey, one of the seniors who was honored before the match (along with Dorian Pickens), made a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the Cardinal. The score was 49-40 at halftime

Freshman KZ Okpala, who made the first basket for his team, had the most points for the Cardinal after the opening period with 11. Bernstine exceeded the Cougars with 12 points.

When the second period began, Malachi Flynn made a three-pointer for the Cougars, followed by a layup from Kwinton Hinson. Shortly after, Hinson was fouled and Okpala made both free throws, making the score 51-45. Humphrey then got a layup directly after, and then made a dunk (assisted by Daejon Davis) to give the Cardinal their first double digit lead of the game less than four minutes in. Reid Travis brought the Cardinal’s lead to 12 with a layup at the five-minute mark.

The Cardinal managed to keep their lead in the double digits after Travis blocked a shot from Milan Acquaah, and again Oscar da Silva made a three-pointer at the eight-minute mark. Dorian Pickens then made two free throws to give the Cardinal a 14-point lead.

The Cougars cut their trail to single digits after Robert Franks got a three-pointer. The Cardinal’s lead remained in the single digits (even dropping to a two-point difference with a minute remaining), and then the score was tied 84-84 after Franks got on a breakaway and dunked for the Cougars with 30 seconds left in the game.

Two free throws from Davis put the Cardinal ahead by two points with 10 seconds on the clock, and they took home an 86-84 win.

Okpala and Travis finished the game with 20 points to lead the Cardinal. Franks led the Cougars with 19 points.

The Stanford Cardinal will head to the desert on Thursday, March 1 to take on the Arizona Wildcats.

Stanford Cardinal defeats Washington Huskies 94-78 for the ​second time this season; That’s two straight wins in a row for Stanford

photo by gostanford.com: Stanford Cardinal Travis Reid (22) led Stanford in offense on Thursday night at Maples Pavilion with 33 points

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO—After defeating their archrivals, the California Golden Bears, in Berkeley on Sunday, the Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (15-13 overall, 9-6 in the Pac-12) returned to Maples Pavillion on Thursday night to face the Washington Huskies (18-10 overall, 8-7 in the Pac-12), whom they beat 73-64 in mid-January on the road. Both teams were 8-6 in the Pac-12 conference going into the match.

Humphrey made the first basket for the Cardinal and Noah Dickerson for the Huskies. The Cardinal kept a lead over the Huskies for the entire first half, which gradually increased as the period progressed. The Huskies started trailing the Cardinal by the double digits 5:29 in after forward Dorian Pickens made a three-pointer.

Huskies’ Dominic Green cut Stanford’s lead back into the single digits at 10:28, but only for 19 seconds, when Stanford’s Reid Travis made a jumper. The lead remained in the double digits from there on out. At the end of the period, the Cardinal exceeded the Huskies by 22 points.

Travis ended the period with 23 points, the highest on the team, and Pickens, Travis’ runner-up, finished the opening stanza with 12 points. Dickerson led the Huskies with 10 points, followed by Jaylen Nowell who had seven.

The second period began with a jumper from Pickens to make the score 50-26. The Huskies began inching their way toward cutting the Cardinal’s lead below 20 (and they came close at the four-minute mark when David Crisp got a layup to make the score 56-36), but the Cardinal held on as Oscar da Silva made a three-pointer at the five minute mark, keeping them ahead of the Huskies by more than 20 points.

Da Silva made one of three free throws just after the seven-minute mark to bring the score to 62-42. Daejon Davis (who was originally committed to the University of Washington) then stepped in for da Silva.

Dominic Green made a jumper for the Huskies to bring the Cardinal’s lead down to 18 points. Additionally, after Josh Sharma was fouled, Nahziah Carter made both free throws to cut the lead to 16 points. Then, Green made a three-pointer with 11 minutes remaining on the clock, and the Huskies trailed only by 13 (62-49), the closest they’d get to a single digit lead since early in the first half.

After much back and forth in the three minutes that followed, a dunk from Humphrey, a three-pointer from Pickens, a layup from da Silva, two free throws from Pickens, and a three-pointer from da Silva, the Cardinal inched their way back up to a 19-point lead, then 21 after da Silva made a dunk. Crisp made a three-pointer for the Huskies, followed by a layup from Humphrey for the Cardinals, and then another three-pointer from Matisse Thybulle brought the score to 78-62.

Carter chimed in on the three-pointer action and shot one for the Huskies with just over 6 minutes remaining in the match, and the score was 80-65. Nowell got a layup with 5:19 remaining and the lead was once again cut to 13 points, and then increased to 14 after Pickens made one of two free throws for the Cardinal.

Travis stepped on the line for a bonus one-and-one, making both shots to bring the score to 83-67. Carter then made a free throw (83-68) for the Huskies.

Carter was fouled with just over four and a half minutes remaining, giving Travis two free throw opportunities, both of which he made. Carter made a three-pointer for the Huskies before his teammate Hameir Wright was fouled, giving Davis two free throws; he made one to make the score 87-71.

A three-pointer from Thybulle cut the Cardinal’s lead to 12, then KZ Okpala made one of two free throws from Stanford to make it 13 once again. Carter missed a three-pointer which would have brought the lead down to 10 points.

The Cardinal closed out their win with one free throw from Travis and another from Okpala.

Travis earned a career high in points and led the Cardinal with 33, and Pickens finished second with 20 points. Nowell led the Huskies with 18 points, followed by Carter with 17.

Stanford will face the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, February 24, which is also Senior Day. Pickens and Humphrey will be honored for their contribution to Cardinal Basketball.

Stanford falls to #14 Arizona by just two points in close 73-71 loss

Photo: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO — After beating #16 Arizona State on Wednesday, the Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team took on the #14 Arizona Wildcats, to whom they fell ,73-71, in front of a packed Maples Pavilion Saturday afternoon. With the loss, Stanford’s five-game winning streak was snapped by Arizona.

In a back-and-forth game among two Pac-12 leaders, Stanford failed to exceed Arizona. The Cardinal trailed by a maximum of 10 points at one time in the first period.

The Cardinal stepped up in the second period and even managed to exceed the Wildcats by more than 10 points. This was first facilitated by a jumper from Reid Travis four minutes in, and then the Cardinal were ahead 11 points after Dorian Pickens got a 3-pointer just over 10 minutes in. However, the latter team managed to take the lead again with 38 seconds left in the game, only exceeding them by one point.

It came down to the final shot (Rawle Alkins’ go-ahead layup with 38 seconds left in regulation), but the Cardinal came up just two points short in a 73-71 loss to the Wildcats.

“It was a battle and outside the first six, eight, ten minutes of the game we joined the battle and competed at a high level,” said Stanford head coach Jerod Haase. “There were a lot of positives that we’ll take away. Obviously there a lot of things we can learn from as well but at the end of the day I think we competed at a high level.”

Travis led the Cardinal in points with 20, and Allonzo Trier exceeded the Wildcats with 21 points.

“Winning on the road is hard, and I give Stanford a lot of credit,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. “Stanford’s resiliency was impressive. They scored 42 points on us (in the second half), and they had their starting point guard the entire second half.”

“Stanford’s game plan was good,” Miller added. “They have some big bodies, Humphrey’s a senior, a very good player; Reid Travis is not only one of the better players in our conference, but in college basketball.”

Next: Stanford will take on the USC Trojans in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 24 at 6:00 pm PT.

Stanford Cardinal faces ASU Sun Devils, outshine them 86-77

Photo: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO—The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (11-8 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-12) returned home from a road trip across the state of Washington with two straight wins (their first road sweep since 2010) under their belt. On Wednesday evening, they faced the Arizona State Sun Devils (14-4 overall, 2-4 in the Pac-12) at Maples Pavilion.

Dorian Pickens made the first basket for the Cardinal and, within minutes, the first three-pointer of the match, both of which helped Stanford hit the ground running. The Cardinal managed to keep a lead over the Sun Devils for the whole the opening period, even within just one or two points.

An aggressive block from Stanford’s Josh Sharma kept ASU from tying the score with just over two minutes left in the first half, though he was later fouled, allowing ASU’s Romello White to score two free throws and tie the game 32-32. Reid Travis put up a three-pointer for Stanford, then Remy Martin for ASU, tying the score again. With 39 seconds left, Daejon Davis made a jumper to give the Cardinal a two-point lead (37-35) at halftime.

At the end of the first half, Pickens led the Cardinal with 10 points, and Travis had nine points and five rebounds. Oscar da Silva had six points, comprised of two three-pointers. White put up 10 points for the Sun Devils, leading the team after 20 minutes, and Martin added nine.

The Sun Devils caught up within two minutes, trailing only by two points (40-38), before Travis brought the Cardinal up to a seven-point lead with a three-pointer and a layup. Pickens chimed in and added a three-pointer, and Sharma dunked twice, and then the Cardinal exceeded the Sun Devils by the double digits (56-43). Sharma also dunked one of Pickens’ missed jumpers, eliciting an explosively enthusiastic reaction from both the bench and the stands.

ASU began trailing Stanford by single digits once again with 6:21 left in the match, when Mickey Mitchell got a layup. They trailed only by two points with four minutes remaining, courtesy of the Sun Devils’ leader in points, Tra Holder, who put up a three for his team.

After a nerve-wracking final four minutes, Stanford regained their multi-point lead and upset the #16-ranked ASU by nine points (86-77).

Pickens led the Cardinal in points with 19, and Travis in rebounds with 10. White put up 19 points to lead the Sun Devils, and Mitchell made the most rebounds with seven.

The Stanford Cardinal are back at Maples Pavilion on Saturday to face the Arizona Wildcats at 1:00 p.m.

Stanford defeats Pac-12’s #1 UCLA 107-99 in double OT

Photo: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

The Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team (now 7-8) kicked off 2018 with a match against the visiting UCLA Bruins, who went into the match 11-3 (first place in the Pac-12 Conference).

After UCLA took the lead for the first part of the game, Dorian Pickens tied the score 22-22 (with a three-pointer) with six minutes left in the first half, as the shot clock reached zero. Travis then got a layup and a free throw to give the Cardinal the lead once again (25-24), and Dorian Pickens got another three-pointer just after the Bruins’ Jaylen Hands got a jumper, and the Cardinal trailed by only one point.

For the remaining minutes of the match, the Bruins managed to re-tie the score each time the Cardinal took a lead. After Hands’ basket, Michael Humphrey shot for Stanford, then 30 seconds later, UCLA’s Gyorgy Goloman made a three-pointer and tied the score 30-30. Oscar da Silva got a layup, but Aaron Holiday (who leads UCLA in points per game) made both free throws and gave the Bruins a 34-32 lead.

Then, it was Stanford who had to catch up. Kris Wilkes got a layup for UCLA to give them a 36-32 lead. It took two layups from Okpala to tie the score again (36-36). The Bruins clearly weren’t having it, determined to keep their lead. Prince Ali (not to be mistaken with the Disney character Aladdin’s alter ego) got a three-pointer and a layup within 30 seconds of one another. The Bruins led the Cardinal 41-36 at halftime.

The Cardinal, moved to make a comeback against the conference’s first-place team, inch their way up on the scoreboard each time the Bruins took a lead, which the latter team managed to keep. Shots alternated between both teams, beginning with Travis, then UCLA’s Thomas Welsh, a three-pointer from Stanford’s Daejon Davis, two free throws from Holiday, another three-pointer by Pickens, then one from Holiday, a layup from Okpala, and two completed free throws from Holiday which put the Bruins four points ahead at 50-46.

After a time-out just before the five-minute mark, Pickens got his fourth three-pointer of the night, bringing the Cardinal down by only one point. Despite a consistent number of baskets  for the Cardinal at the 30-minute mark of the match (10 minutes into the second period), they remained inferior to the Bruins, who were up by 10 at that point (71-61).

UCLA increased their double-digit lead as soon as Goloman got a three-pointer, and they stayed ahead even after Okpala made two free throws (the Cardinal trailed 74-63). Davis cut Stanford’s trail to single digits (after making a layup and a free throw, and after a dunk from Travis right after Holiday’s layup. Though Ali made a three-pointer and gave the Bruins a 12-point lead, Humphrey got a three pointer followed by a dunk, and the Cardial only trailed by seven, then only by five when Pickens got a layup with four minutes left in the game.

After a free throw from UCLA’s Alex Olesinski and two from Davis, Stanford trailed only by four. Wilkes was fouled for the Bruins, giving Davis two free throw opportunities. He made only one, after which the Cardinal were only a three-pointer away from tying the Bruins.

Da Silva got a layup assisted by Pickens with 46 seconds left in the game, and then the Cardinal were only a basket away from exceeding the Bruins. However, a layup from Holiday allowed the Bruins to keep their lead. Humphrey was fouled with 18 seconds left, but Ali missed both free throws for UCLA. Miraculously, Pickens got another three-pointer, his fifth of the night, with six seconds left to tie the score 85-85.

In overtime, Humphrey made two free throws to give the Cardinal their first lead since the opening minutes of the first half, but the Bruins quickly came back when Thomas Welsh made a layup and a free throw. Davis got a layup and gave Stanford a one-point lead (89-88), but after Goloman made a free throw, the score was tied again, and then the Bruins regained their lead after a jumper from Holiday (91-89).

Okpala tied the score with two and a half minutes left (91-91), and then it was up to the Cardinal’s defense to ensure the Bruins would not surpass them yet again, which they managed to do. And then, with only half a minute left, da Silva dunked and gave the Cardinal the lead. After a successful free throw from Okpala, they were ahead 94-91 until Holiday made a buzzer-beating three-pointer. The score was tied once again (94-94), sending the match into a second overtime period.

It was all defense for the Cardinal as the Bruins had possession of the ball when the second OT period began. Okpala was fouled, and then Ali made two free throws to give the Bruins a two point lead. Josh Sharma got a layup for the Cardinal and tied the score 96-96, but then he was fouled. Ali made one free throw and the Bruins were only one point ahead. There was hope for the Cardinal, until Sharma was fouled again, giving Ali two more free throw opportunities. He made both, and the Bruins led the Cardinal 99-96.

Pickens made two free throws after Holiday was fouled, cutting the Bruins’ lead to only one point. Sharma was fouled again for Stanford, after which Hands failed to make both free throw opportunities. Goloman was fouled for UCLA, giving Isaac white two free throw opportunities, which he missed. Pickens made his sixth free throw of the evening, and the Cardinal were in the lead again (101-99).

Davis saved the day (or, rather, the evening) when he got a layup with half a minute remaining to give the Cardinal a four point lead (103-99). White again received two free throw opportunities when Hands was fouled, both of which he made. Pickens also made two free throws, and the Cardinal took home a 107-99 victory.

Pickens and Davis led the team in points with 26 and 22 points, respectively, and Travis (who had 18 points) led the team in rebounds with 11.

Next, Stanford will face the USC Trojans (10-5) on Sunday, January 7 at home.

Travis, Cardinal Overwhelm Cal State East Bay

By: Ben Leonard

STANFORD, Calif. — Even for basketball players, finals week at Stanford is grueling.

Before overwhelming Division II Cal State East Bay 79-53 Friday night, Stanford had eight players with finals at nine o’clock in the morning, some pulling all-nighters to cram for their exams. The nearly two weeks off from games for finals period didn’t phase the Cardinal and junior forward Reid Travis, who recorded his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in just 22 minutes to pace Stanford.

“There’s definitely a lot of things we can work on, but I’m proud of the way we bounced back this week. We had a tough finals week, so definitely to refocus and have a game like we did tonight,” Travis said. “Defensively, offensively, we’re really starting to get our standards down and do everything we need to do to be successful in conference play.”

Stanford hadn’t played since falling 89-74 to No. 4 Kansas Dec. 3, and certainly showed some rust in the early going against the Pioneers (8-3, 0-0 CCAA). Stanford had been limited to five full practices during that time, taking several days off and only holding shootarounds on many occasions. After a dominant 18-3 run to start the game, the Cardinal (7-3, 0-0 Pac-12) lapsed on defense, allowing Cal State East Bay to cut the lead to 22-16.

But Travis and the Cardinal quickly became too much for the undersized Pioneers to handle. Led by eight points from the 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward, including a clean dish from sophomore guard Robert Cartwright for a thunderous dunk, the former McDonald’s American and the Cardinal surged to on a 15-0 run to take a commanding lead, never looking back.

Travis’ physicality, a product of an unmatched, almost excessive work ethic that ex-Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins in part attributed to his missing 22 games last season with a stress reaction in his left leg, paid off Friday, simply too much for the Pioneers to match. Only one of the Pioneers’ top six scorers was above 6-foot-5, presenting huge matchup problems for the lower-division squad.

Although they took just seven 3-point attempts, making one, Stanford dominated in scoring through the post, outscoring the Pioneers 42-20 in the paint and winning the rebound battle 42-30.

“Our identity is a team that gets the ball inside first by dribble or pass, hopefully gets some things in transition and on offensive rebounds, but we have to work from the inside out,” Stanford head coach Jerod Haase said. “Because it was working well and effectively, we didn’t have to go to the second part of that, which is shooting from the perimeter. As time moves on, we are going to have to shoot from the perimeter. We have to be more efficient than we have been from the perimeter.”

The Cardinal’s leader in 3-point scoring percentage, junior guard Dorian Pickens, made Stanford’s lone 3-pointer Friday in his only attempt. He was the only other Cardinal player to score in double-digits, scoring 11 points in 21 minutes on 3-of-5 shooting. The Phoenix native helped buoy a Stanford offense that shot 55.3% from the field (26-of-47 FG’s), even without contributions from one of their key contributors.

After starting all nine of the team’s previous contests, a familiar name was out of the starting lineup Friday: junior forward Michael Humphrey. The Phoenix native had seen his field goal percentage dip from nearly .500 to a meager .429 mark this season and his rebounds per game fall by two, which prompted Hasse to sit Humphrey and play him for just 12 minutes Friday, replacing him with senior center Grant Verhoeven.

“(The goal was) hopefully to light a little fire under Michael,” Haase said. “It’s not a secret, Michael isn’t playing his top performances right now. Grant has earned that right as well. He’s been a consistent performer and played well.”

Humphrey was effective in limited time, matching Verhoeven’s scoring total with seven points on 2-of-3 shooting and grabbing three rebounds.

On the whole, Verhoeven thought it was fairly solid showing for the Cardinal, albeit a work in progress before it takes on a talented SMU squad (8-3, 0-0 AAC) on Monday.

“It’s good to have a game like this where we can just focus on getting better, working on our offense and defense,” Verhoeven said. “There was a lot out there that wasn’t pretty on our end of the court, but we have a lot we can work on in these next couple days before our game against SMU.”

 

 

 

Cover Image: Stanford’s Reid Travis (22) scores against Cal State East Bay during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Stanford routs the Cal State Northridge Matadors 96-69

by Jerry Feitelberg

photo by Jerry Feitelberg sportsradioservice.com: The Stanford cheer team takes midcourt with lots to cheer about as Stanford wins their first home game of the season over the CSUN Matadors on Tuesday night at Maples Pavilion

PALO ALTO- The Stanford Cardinal Men’s basketball team, showing no ill effects from the long trip home from Shanghai, routed the CSUN Matadors 96-69. Coach Jerod Haase, in his first season as head coach of the Cardinal, had his team playing aggressively. They played well on defense and ran the court at every opportunity. Most of last year’s team returned, and they showed how well a team could play with experience under their collective belts. Michael Humphrey and Reid Travis started at forward. Dorian Pickens, Christian Sanders and Marcus Allen, all guards, were in the starting lineup. The Matadors, coached by former NBA star, Reggie Theus, were no match for the Cardinal Tuesday night.

The Cardinal was playing the second game and the first game at home this season raced out to a thirteen-point advantage at the end of the first half. The visiting Cal State University Northridge Matadors jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. The Cardinal tied the game at seven with 16:24 left in the half. With the score 10-9 for Stanford, the Cardinal went on a 19-5 run to take a 29-14 lead. Reid Travis led the Cardinal with fifteen points. Marcus Allen and Dorian Pickens each had eight for theCardinal. The Matadors closed the gap to thirteen at the end of the half.  Kendall Smith led the Matador attack with thirteen. Dylan Johns added six for CSUN. CSUN shot just 37% from the floor while Stanford’s was at 41%. The Cardinal led 22-18 in rebounds, and they played great defense in the half. The Cardinal leads 47-34 after twenty minutes of play.

The rout was on at the start of the second half. Dorian Pickens started the half with two 3-point shots. Reid Travis scored a bucket to give the Cardinal a twenty-one point lead. Josh Sharma, the 7-foot center, and Marcus Sheffield were terrific in the half. Sharma ended the game with fifteen, and Sheffield added seventeen. The guys in Cardinal and White could not be caught. The Matadors trailed by thirty-one 85-54 and were done for the game. Stanford improves to 2-0 while the Matadors drop to 1-2.

Game Notes- After the game Reid Travis, who had nineteen in the contest, said the team “stayed aggressive.” Dorian Pickens had a short answer when asked about how well the team moved the ball. His reply was “great.”

Coach Jarod Haase said he “had a blast” watching his team run to a win. He said this about his players:”they are so willing to learn.” When asked what he liked and didn’t like about the game, Haase remarked:” I didn’t like the ebb and flow of the game.” However,”I liked the way we shared the ball.”

The Cardinal play Weber State at Maples Pavilion at 7 pm Thursday night.  They finish the homestand Sunday against the Colorado State Rams at 3 pm.

Attendance was a pitiful 2801.