Cardinal uses big second half to upend USF 64-56

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Oscar da Silva and Daejon Davis each scored 18 points for Stanford Tuesday, as the Cardinal overcame the absence of injured point guard Tyrell Terry and slipped past San Francisco 64-56 in non-conference men’s basketball at Maples Pavilion.

Bryce Wills and Spencer Jones added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Cardinal (10-1), who trailed 23-18 at halftime. Jones, da Silva and Wills each had five rebounds; Davis added four assists.

Terry was held out of the Cardinal lineup due to what Stanford called “an upper body injury” sustained during the pregame shootaround. Afterward, Stanford personnel said they didn’t think the injury was serious.

Terry’s absence affected the Cardinal offense, which totaled only six assists while committing 19 turnovers. Stanford compensated for the lack of ballhandling by shooting 48 percent from the field while holding the Dons to 39 percent shooting.

Stanford outscored USF 46-32 in the second half. San Francisco averaged 84.6 points per game going into Tuesday’s contest.

Charles Minlend led the Dons (9-3) with 18 points, and Jamaree Bouyea added 15 points, while Minlend and Josh Kunen each grabbed seven of USF’s 29 rebounds.

The Dons are 1-2 against Pac-12 opponents this season. USF lost to Arizona State two weeks ago and earlier defeated California.

Next action for the Cardinal is on Saturday, when they face San Diego in the Al Attles Classic at Chase Center. The Dons play UC Davis on Saturday.

Four Cardinal score in double figures in Stanford’s 70-54 win over Cal State Fullerton

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By Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball had hoped to make it two wins in a row. Did it happen? Yup!

To be specific, four Cardinal players scored in Stanford’s 70-54 win over Cal State Fullerton at Maples Pavilion on Saturday evening.

Daejon Davis scored 15 points. Davis was one of four Stanford players to score in double figures. Davis’ efforts helped the Cardinal win their second straight to open the young season. With the win, Stanford improved to 2-0, 0-0 Pac-12, while Cal State Fullerton fell to 0-2, 0-0 Big West.

Oscar da Silva added 14 points for Stanford (2-0), which played the Titans (0-2) for the first time in seven years. Tyrell Terry and Spencer Jones each scored 12 points.

Wayne Arnold scored 14 points, while Davon Clare had 15 rebounds to lead Cal State Fullerton. Brandon Kamga added 10 points.

The Titans were 4-of-23 from 3-point range, including 2 of 13 in the second half. The Cardinal were 5-of-17.

Jones entered the game midway through the first half and immediately hit a 3-pointer to give Stanford a double-digit lead at 17-5. The Cardinal led by as many as 19 before halftime and the Titans never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

NOTES: The Cardinal welcomed back former Cardinal and manager Olatunde Sobomehin as their honorary caption prior to tonight’s game. Sobomehin currently serves as the CEO of Streetcode Academy.

UP NEXT: The Cardinal host their second straight Big West opponent when Long Beach State comes to town for a Tuesday night contest. Stanford opens with six home games for the first time in 13 years.

The Cardinal host the Long Beach State 49ers on Tuesday, November 12 at 6 p.m. PT.

Stanford unveils men’s basketball schedule

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By: Ana Kieu

Nine home games, including a December 29 matchup with Kansas at Maples Pavilion, highlight Stanford’s 13-game nonconference men’s basketball schedule for the 2019-20 season. The Cardinal will play 11 games in the Bay Area, including a game at the new Chase Center in San Francisco.

The challenging slate includes six matchups with teams who appeared in the postseason last year, highlighted by the Dec. 29 date with Kansas. The Jayhawks, who won 26 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, will make their second ever appearance on The Farm.

Stanford will play in the inaugural Al Attles Classic at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Cardinal will face San Diego as part of a quadruple header, scheduled for December 21 at the new home of the Golden State Warriors.

For the first time in 36 years, Stanford will play nine nonconference games at Maples Pavilion during the regular season. After playing more road games than home contests in one of the nation’s toughest nonconference schedules a year ago, the Cardinal will leave the Bay Area for just two of its 12 nonconference games. Stanford will be at home the first five weekends of the season (including Friday evening), including a season-opening six-game homestand.

The 2019-20 campaign begins Wednesday, Nov. 6 against defending Big Sky Champion Montana. The season-opening homestand also includes Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Santa Clara, Maryland Eastern Shore and William & Mary.

Stanford’s only trip outside the Bay Area during nonconference play is a trip to Kansas City to compete in the Hall of Fame Classic. The Thanksgiving-week tournament (November 25-26) also features Oklahoma, Butler and Missouri, with specific matchups to be announced at a later date. The evening prior to the games, Cardinal great Todd Lichti (1985-89) will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

The December slate includes four games, all in the Bay Area. The Cardinal will host UNC Wilmington December 1, matching head coach Jerod Haase with his college teammate at Kansas in UNCW head coach C.B. McGrath. Stanford earned a 72-59 victory against UNCW in Wilmington last season.

The lone true road contest of the nonconference schedule is a December 14 matchup in the South Bay against San Jose State. The Cardinal defeated the Spartans 78-73 at home last season.

Continuing the Bay Area theme, Stanford will host San Francisco December 17, completing a three-game series with the Dons.

The nonconference slate concludes with Kansas, completing a four-game series with the Jayhawks. Stanford dropped a 90-84 overtime thriller at Allen Field House last season. The December 29 matchup marks Kansas’ first trip to Stanford in 56 years. The Cardinal earned a 69-64 victory over the Jayhawks on December 23, 1963 in their only other visit to The Farm.

The Pac-12 portion of the schedule, along with game times for all games will be announced in September, once television agreements are finalized.

Season ticket membership renewals begin in mid-July, the only opportunity for season ticket members to guarantee their seats for the full home schedule, receive loyalty pricing (9-10% off the regular price), early access to discounted tickets for all regular season home events and enjoy a growing list of other membership benefits. To learn more about 2019-20 memberships, including placing a deposit to secure seats as a new season ticket member, call (800)-STANFORD (option 2).

Stanford closes out the season against Cal Thursday night

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By: Ana Kieu

Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball fought all the way, but came up just short in Sunday’s 62-61 loss to the Washington Huskies at Maples Pavilion. Stanford had a chance to win on the game’s final possession, but KZ Okpala’s shot at the buzzer was no good and Stanford fell to Washington.

Josh Sharma scored 16 to go along with 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, before Washington forced a pair of turnovers in the final 2:37 to gain an advantage. A Sharma basket put Stanford back on top with 1:51 to go, but Washington got consecutive baskets from Nowell to go on top for good.

Oscar da Silva added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal.

Now, Stanford (15-14, 8-9 Pac-12) has another conference foe, Cal (7-22, 2-15 Pac-12), to host at Maples Thursday night. Well, it’s not going to be friendly, as these two teams are conference foes and the same thing will be applied to their respective fanbases. Stanford has one goal in mind and that’s to beat Cal, but that’s easier said than done. Although Cal is the equivalent of San Jose State in the Pac-12, Cal might unleash their anger on Stanford. But you never know which Stanford team will show up so this may turn out to be a down-to-the-wire Pac-12 clash.

By the way, Stanford teamed up with Coaching for Literacy in Sunday’s game. Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase and company wore green ties, lapel pins and wristbands to raise awareness and support the #Fight4Literacy cause.

Oh, and before I forget, Cardinal guard Cormac Ryan ranks third among freshmen in school history with 47 three-pointers.

Washington escapes Maples with a 62-61 win over the Cardinal

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By: Eric Epstein

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Stanford Cardinal fell to the Pac-12-leading Washington Huskies by 1 point on Sunday afternoon. KZ Okpala’s missed 3-point attempt as the buzzer sounded would have given Stanford the win had it been good, but with its miss, Washington walked away with a narrow victory.

Coming off a 3-point loss to Cal, yet still clinching the Pac-12 regular season title on Thursday, Washington was never able to fully pull ahead from Stanford and establish itself as the dominant team. In the first half, Stanford held a single-digit lead for the first seven minutes, until Washington took over and held a lead for all but a minute and a half of the remainder of the period. In the second half, Stanford managed to grab some brief leads throughout the first 15 minutes, but the scoreboard was still mostly controlled by Washington. However, down the stretch, the teams traded off buckets and experienced 4 lead changes—no margin higher than 3 points. 2 straight jumpers by sophomore Husky guard Jaylen Nowell in the final minute and a half of play proved to be too much for Stanford to come back from as they could only scrape together one basket in the rest of regulation.

Washington outscored Stanford 29-33 in a slow-paced first half that featured 17 total turnovers and a combined 29.8% shooting percentage from the field. Sophomores KZ Okpala and Oscar da Silva, as well as senior Josh Sharma, saw limited playing time in the first period as they all picked up 2 personal fouls.

Out of the 10 players that saw first-half time for the Cardinal, only 5 recorded points, and only 4 of those connected on any of their field goal attempts.

The teams played much cleaner basketball in the second half, shooting a combined 52% from the floor, including a remarkable 56% from downtown.

The Pac-12 leader in field goal percentage in Josh Sharma led the second half in total points with 10. He also pitched in 6 rebounds to finish with game-leading 16 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Cormac Ryan caught on fire during the second half, shooting 3-4 from deep, finishing with 13 points. Da Silva was the third double-digit scorer for Stanford, totaling 15 points on 5-8 shooting along with 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Overall, Stanford shot 40% from the field and after going 0-8 on threes in the first half, they shot 6-9 from deep in the second period to bring their percentage up to 35%.

Nowell, who finished with 13 points on 6-11 shooting, was the leading scorer for Washington. Disturbed by primary ball handler and point guard David Crisp’s assist-less effort, Washington did not pass the ball well at all and finished with only 7 points at 14 turnovers.

Like Washington, the Cardinal also dealt with passing and playmaking struggles. Stanford played the whole game without their starting point guard in sophomore Daejon Davis, who is still hurt from a foot injury that he suffered in Stanford’s last game against Washington State. The Cardinal greatly missed Davis’ playmaking abilities, as they tallied a terrible assist to turnover ratio at 10:19.

To round out their regular season and make one final push for Pac-12 tournament seeding, Stanford will host Cal on Thursday evening at Maples.

Stanford continues homestand against No. 25 Washington on Sunday afternoon

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball lit up the scoreboard, got the conference win and snapped a two-game losing skid with a 98-50 rout of the Washington State Cougars inside Maples Pavilion Thursday evening. Moreover, it’s safe to say that the Cardinal clobbered the Cougars after suffering back-to-back defeats in the Grand Canyon State at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats on February 20th and February 24th.

In the win over WSU, Stanford (15-13, 8-8 Pac-12) was led by KZ Okpala, who scored 22 points.

“I made the right plays tonight,” Okpala said. “We were all locked in with each other. We came out and did what we had to do.”

Cormac Ryan hit four 3-pointers as well. This led to the Cardinal earning their chance to extend their winning streak against the Cougars to six games.

“I thought our energy level was off the charts,” Stanford head coach Jerod Haase said. “I loved our energy defensively.”

No. 25 Washington watched their three-game winning streak come to an end Thursday night as the Cardinal’s rival, the Cal Golden Bears, edged the road team 76-73 for the upset. Not only that, Cal finally snapped their 16-game losing skid, which was a great feeling for the players and coaches to say the very least. But as you might’ve guessed, this will likely be a challenge for Stanford, who has been rather wishy-washy this season. Stanford can put on a show or simply freeze into ice on the hardwood.

The Cardinal’s second to last home game at Maples will be against No. 25 Washington Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm PST on the Pac-12 Network. Yes, Stanford has home court advantage, but there’s a reason or two on why Washington found its way back into the AP polls, so the Cardinal has to put on another spectacular performance to prove that they can, too, be a hot-shooting team.

I predict that the Cardinal will fall to No. 25 Washington 75-73. After all, No. 25 Washington likely wants to be crowned as Pac-12 Champions. All they need is one win in the Bay Area to do just that.

Stanford routs WSU at Maples 98-50

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

by Joey Friedman

PALO ALTO — The Stanford Cardinal (15-13, 8-8 in Pac-12) routed the Washington State Cougars (11-17, 4-11) by a final score of 98-50 on Thursday night after dropping two consecutive road games to the Arizona schools last weekend. They looked to redeem themselves against the 11th-seeded Cougars with the Pac-12 tournament just a 3-game home-stand away.

Stanford looked focused on both offense and defense to start the game. On the back of 6 forced turnovers, 4 steals, and 3 blocks and they stretched their lead to 24 points with the score 31-7 with 10 minutes left in the first half. In that time, Cormac Ryan made 3 of his first 4 three-pointers and KZ Okpala led the Cardinal with 11 points. Okpala finished the half with 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Ryan, battling two ailing ankles, played tonight game assisted by what appeared to be heavy-duty ankle braces.

Sophomore point guard Daejon Davis injured his knee midway through the first half. Although he didn’t return to the court, he did return to the bench with crutches later on. No update had been made available since.

Stanford’s lead only grew, as everything appeared to be going right for the Cardinal. They took a 52-15 lead to the locker room at the half. Stanford converted a remarkable 64% (7-12) of their three-pointers in the first half after combining for a 15% 3 pointer percentage in the two games against the Arizona schools on the road last week. They also smothered the Cougars who shot just 23% from the field in the first half and were kept scoreless from beyond the arc (0-8).

The second half was more of the same. Sophomore Isaac White hit 3 3-pointers of his own in the second half. He finished the game tied with Cormac Ryan for second on the team in points with 14.

Freshman Jaiden Delaire finished with 12 points, 8 of which came in the second half. Fellow freshman Bryce Wills also finished in double digits with 10 points to pair with 5 assists. Senior Josh Sharma had 8 points and 7 rebounds while freshman Lukas Kisunas had a career-high 7 rebounds. Two of Stanford starters, Deajon Davis and Oscar Da Silva, didn’t score.

Stanford finished the game shooting 60% from the field and 54% from 3-point range. Stanford also collected a total of 20 assists. They forced 15 WSU turnovers and collected 26 points off those turnovers as a result. Head coach Jerod Hasse praised Stanford’s energy level tonight, especially on defense.

What’s Next?
Stanford will host the 25th ranked Washington Huskies on Sunday at 1:00 PM before they host the rival Cal Bears to close out the season. Washington is the 1-seed in the Pac-12 and the only school in the conference to be ranked.

Washington State will travel across The Bay to the 12-seed California Bears on Sunday at 4:00 PM before they host the Oregon schools to close out the regular season.

Stanford kicks off final homestand of the season vs. Washington State Thursday

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

Last week, Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball toured the Grand Canyon State with two conference matchups against the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe, Ariz. on February 20th and the Arizona Wildcats in nearby Tuscon, Ariz. on February 24th, respectively. Stanford got swept by both teams by the final scores of 80-62 and 70-54 in that order. It was unfortunate as the Cardinal had just built up a two-game win streak in Palo Alto, Calif. prior to boarding the two flights. But what can the team do? They can only move on and learn from previous mistakes.

Anyways, Stanford (14-13, 7-8 Pac-12) has been slated to open the final homestand of the season at Maples Pavilion. Game one has been scheduled for Thursday evening versus the Washington State Cougars, who currently sit second to last in the conference with a 11-16, 4-10 Pac-12 record, at 6:00 pm PT on the Pac-12 Network.

Yes, Stanford sits two spots above Washington State, but that won’t automatically mean that the Cardinal will win the conference matchup. Just take a look at my alma mater, San Jose State Spartans, this season under second-year head coach Jean Prioleau, who mustered a measly 3-23, 0-14 MW. As you can see, those three wins weren’t conference wins, so there’s a thing or two that makes conference games a tad bit tough, like, say, opposing team strength and quality of game site. If I missed anything, please contact me directly on Twitter @AnaKieu. Thank you!

Stanford was exposed to the hot-shooting Sun Devils and Wildcats, who both managed to get hot at the right times to down the Cardinal by far-fetched routs. Stanford was without Daejon Davis in Tempe. While Davis returned just in time for the Tuscon tilt, Stanford needed more than Davis’ leadership with 14 points for double figures to rise above Oscar da Silva’s 12 points, Josh Sharma’s 11 points and KZ Okpala’s 10 points.

Stanford’s stats were extremely poor as they shot just 39.6% from the field overall and finished 4-of-20 from beyond the arc in Tuscon. That being said, Stanford proved to be significantly better in the second half, shooting 52.2%. However, Arizona shot 50% in the second half to keep up and outlast the Cardinal in the end.

Oh, and in other news, Milwaukee Bucks center and Stanford alum Brook Lopez hosted a block party Monday night against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The Bucks downed the Bulls 117-106. Lopez scored 13 points and four rebounds in 27 minutes played. Lopez, a North Hollywood, Calif. native, played college basketball at Stanford from 2006-2008 and was selected 10th overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Stanford overwhelms UCLA at Maples, 104-80

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Eric Epstein

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Stanford Cardinal avenged their Jan. 3rd loss to the UCLA Bruins by blowing them out with a score of 104-80 on Saturday evening. The Cardinal have now won 5 out of their last 6 Pac-12 games, pushing their in-conference record to 7-6. The Bruins move to 13-13 on the season and 6-7 in-conference.

When the Cardinal and Bruins met in Los Angeles earlier this year, the Bruins imposed their will on their guests, blowing them out by 22 points. The Cardinal, however, one-upped the Bruins by welcoming them to Maples Pavilion with a 24-point beatdown. Saturday marks the first time since 2013 that the Cardinal have scored over 100 points in a game.

Stanford outscored UCLA in the first half 49-40, powered by their 22 points in the paint along with 22 bench points. Despite sophomore guard Jaylen Hands’ 17 first half points on 6-8 shooting, the Bruins only managed to shoot 39% from the field, turning over the ball 8 times in the process. After Bryce Wills committed 2 quick fouls for the Cardinal, fellow freshman guard Cormac Ryan picked up the slack off the bench by making his first five shots and pitching in a team-leading 14 first half points.

Sophomore forward and Stanford’s leading scorer KZ Okpala had an extraordinarily sleepy first half where he started the night 0-4 and finished the period with a notably inefficient 2-7 shooting mark.

After a basket malfunction caused an extended halftime delay, the Cardinal quickly increased their lead to 20+ points thanks to dynamic play from senior center Josh Sharma, sophomore guard Daejon Davis, Wills, and Ryan.

The game flow of the second half came screeching to a halt, as the referees blew the whistle 13 times against each team. UCLA won the free throw battle, going 25-35, compared to the Cardinal’s 20 makes in 28 attempts.

With less than 5 minutes to play in the game, Okpala and Wills both endured hard falls to the hardwood after fouls at the rim. They both left the game momentarily but returned to after a brief seat.

The Cardinal finished with a season-high 5 players scoring in double digits with Sharma, Okpala, Davis, Wills, and Ryan all filling up the bucket at an exceedingly high clip.

Sharma, who was able to stay out of foul trouble for most of the night, led the team in scoring with 22 points on an insanely efficient 91% field goal percentage. In the second half alone, he wreaked havoc on the emergency replacement rims, throwing the ball down 5 times. He also grabbed a game-leading 12 rebounds.

Davis finished with 11 assists, the highest total for a Stanford player this season. He also coughed the ball up one time over the course of the game, an arguably more impressive feat.

After only playing 3 minutes in the first half, Wills played a very solid second half where he scored 10 points on 3-4 from the field and 4-5 from the foul line, also tallying 3 assists along the way.

Okpala turned his night around and scored 13 second-half points, shooting 50% from the field and throwing down an extremely athletic alley-oop dunk out of an inbounds play.

Ryan cooled down after his blazingly hot first half, and he only scored 5 points in the second period. He finished the night with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Hands never looked back after his monster first half, as he finished with a game-high 29 points on 8-14 shooting from the field and went 10-11 from the charity stripe. He and freshman guard Jules Bernard were the only reliable offensive weapons for the Bruins, and the loss surely would have been a lot uglier if they weren’t able to carry the offensive load that they did.

The Cardinal will try to build off of their Pac-12 momentum when they visit ASU and Arizona for their last road trip of the regular season before hosting their last three Pac-12 games at Maples.

Stanford continues homestand against UCLA Saturday night

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By: Ana Kieu

Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball surely showed that they were the Comeback Cardinal in Wednesday’s thriller against the rival USC Trojans 79-76 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal (13-11, 6-6 Pac-12) certainly rebounded after a rough two-game road trip in the Beaver State against Oregon and Oregon State this past weekend. Now the Cardinal will seek their second straight win over the lowly UCLA Bruins, who currently stand at 13-12, 6-6 Pac-12 in the conference standings. That’s clearly not super low to the point of being a hapless team, like, say, my alma mater San Jose State University, but they’re just a step below the Cardinal and this should be a winnable game for the home team as long as the Bay Area big men continue to play with grit throughout the two halves.

In case you missed it, Stanford not only celebrated the exhilarating win over USC Wednesday with its head coach Jerod Haase, but also a familiar face in football head coach David Shaw, who appeared to be really happy to be back on the Stanford University campus as the Cardinal support each other, no matter what teams they play for or what genders they describe themselves as.

Check out the Cardinal’s postgame celebration in the embedded tweet below.

As you should already know, Stanford took matters into their own hands and gutted out a gutsy win over USC and also carried some momentum into Saturday’s rivalry matchup. Well, at least a fan rivalry in the minds of those who follow these two Pac-12 schools.

I’d also like to mention that Bryce Willis was clutch down the stretch against USC and even threw in the much-needed game-winner to help the Cardinal get ahead for the win.

Since both teams aren’t leading the conference, I believe Saturday’s Pac-12 matchup will feature a lot of back-and-forth action along with fluctuating leads and deficits. As long as there are runs for the money, they’ll be strides to try even harder over the course of the game itself. But I predict that Stanford will somehow pull off a win, so my prediction will be 80-75 Stanford. Let’s see how I’ll do Saturday.