Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball Resist Claws of Chico State Wildcats, Win 91-81

Photo: @StanfordMBB

By Alexandra Evans

PALO ALTO–With eight days remaining until the regular season, the Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team commenced with an exhibition match against the Chico State Wildcats on Thursday, November 2.

The Cardinal welcomes five new additions to the team this year:

Kezie Okpala of Los Angeles, CA (6’8”, 195 pounds)
Daejon Davis of Seattle, WA (6’3”, 175 pounds)
Isaac White of Adelaide, Australia (6’1”, 185 pounds)
Kodye Pugh of Baltimore, MD (6’8”, 205 pounds)
Oscar Da Silva of Munich, Germany (6’9”, 210 pounds)

The first half started off smoothly for the Cardinal as forward Reid Travis made a shot less than a minute in. Just before the 10 minute mark, the Wildcats trailed the Cardinal by 11 points.

Chico began to step up their game about 15 minutes into the first half; the Wildcats trailed the Cardinal by seven points. Keith Datu, a Chico forward, then made a three-pointer and the Wildcats were only down by four with 3:33 remaining.

The score was tied at 17:00 exactly, when Marcus Sheffield made both free throws after a foul just over 10 seconds later.

Just before the 18:00 mark, two Chico players tried to tip the ball from the rim into the hoop, but Stanford’s Josh Sharma got the defensive rebound, keeping the score tied.

Chico’s Nate Ambrosini shot a three pointer, giving the Wildcats a 33-31 lead.

The score was tied 35-35 at halftime, signifying a decline in Stanford’s defensive plays.

A slam dunk just under 30 seconds into the second half by Travis gave Stanford a 37-36 lead. Minimal, but a step in the right direction. Travis then made one free throw, one basket, and another free throw to give Stanford a 41-36 lead.
The first eight minutes of the second half were a scoring frenzy. Stanford kept the lead, though there were very few moments where Chico trailed by more than five points. Envision a lion (predator) chasing a gazelle (prey). Chico’s score represents the lion’s movement and Stanford’s score represents the gazelle’s. Over the course of these eight minutes, the lion got close enough to nip the gazelle’s tail off. After the eight minute mark, the gazelle uses every single ounce of energy in its system to outrun the lion, which it eventually escapes.

In sports terminology, Stanford kicked things into overdrive after the eight minute “no more than five points ahead” stint and stepped up their game substantially about nine minutes in. They brought the score to 63-48 in the blink of an eye. They eventually exceeded Chico by 23 points (86-63), Travis making a majority of the baskets. Stanford kept the lead, which never dropped below 10 points the entire last half of the second period.

The final score was 91-81.

Travis was, undoubtedly, the stars of the game. He and fellow Marcus Sheffield sat down with the media after the match.

“I like the way we attacked,” Travis said. “I felt that on offense we tried to do the right thing as far as getting to the paint, getting to the buckets. I did not like the way we did not distribute that in the first half. That was a big emphasis on the offseason.”

“I think it just clicked for us,” Sheffield said of the eventual 23-point lead. “We had a few guys step up and play hard, get a few stops, and we were able to run out and get some easy baskets.”

Head Coach Jerod Haase then stepped into the conference room.

“I like the way the guys responded in the variety of times that I challenged them,” Haase remarked. “Competing on the defensive end, sharing the basketball on the offensive end, they responded to the things I said, I liked that. Defensively, there were certainly a lot of teachable moments out there. The energy was not consistent. Chico State has good defense, we weren’t ready for it. It is definitely something we can work on.”

Expected growing pains are present among the team, especially with a number of rookies and with a few absences, such as Cameron Walker who is dealing with injuries off the court. However, if the team continues to work in tandem as they had in the second half, the season should progress smoothly.

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.