Photo credit: @StanfordMBB
By Alexandra Evans
PALO ALTO — The Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team faced the Northeastern Huskies this afternoon, who traveled to the Golden State from chilly Boston.
Both teams were strong on offense and defense in the first half; almost no rebounds were missed on both sides. Stanford managed to exceed Northeastern in points by nine after the first 20 minutes. With Stanford’s six team fouls (compared to Northeastern’s four), Northeastern had three opportunities for free throws, all of which were missed. Northeastern’s Donnell Gresham Jr. made a three-pointer from the center of the court in the last three seconds. The ending score was 33-24 Stanford, who managed to keep a lead over the Huskies throughout the first half.
The second half commenced with fast-paced back-and-forth action. After a Stanford foul 18 seconds in, both teams took turns making each attempted basket in the first five minutes, bringing each of their scores up by more than 10 points.
Northeastern made numerous three-pointer attempts in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but none were successful until Huskies’ Bolden Brace notched one just after the 10-minute mark. Northeastern would then score three more three-pointers in the remainder (comprising part of their 59 points at the end of the match). Stanford only had two three-point shots, but managed to overthrow Northeastern with numerous two-pointers.
Almost three-quarters of the way into the second half (nearing the 14-minute mark), the Huskies only trailed the Cardinal by four points, and then only by two points at 14:30. Isaac White then made a three-pointer to bring the score to 60-55 Stanford at 14:45, then Michael Humphrey made both free throws after Brace was fouled.
A great block by (#13 S) prevented the Huskies’ Devon Begley from making a shot-clock beating basket. #13 then made a three-pointer with just under a minute left in the match, barely beating the shot clock.
The final score was 73-59 Stanford. Both teams finished with 36 rebounds (the only even statistic of the game).
Stanford forward Michael Humphrey and guard Daejon Davis shared their thoughts on the match in a post-game conference. Despite the win, both believed there is substantial room for overall improvement.
“In the middle of the second half [the whole team] got caught up in the emotions of the game,” Humphrey noted. “But all of us calmed down and ended the game strong, which is what we needed to do.”
“Northeastern is a great offensive rebounding team, but we can’t give up that many offensive boards. Especially with a team our size and our athleticism…If we don’t make the boards, we have a really good chance of winning.”
Davis added, “Any time we come out with a win, I’m always up, no matter who contributed and how we got it done. A win makes everyone feel good, but we, as a team, definitely have so many things to improve on. We can’t have that dip we had in the second half; we need to keep our energy up for 40 minutes. I am just waiting for us to put together a full game on both the offensive and defensive ends all the way through, with energy and effort.”
Coach Jerod Haase expressed excitement when Northeastern managed to score a buzzer-beating three pointer before halftime. Haase was curious as to how much effort the team would put into bouncing back and cultivating a lead in the double digits again. To him, this was the biggest testament.
“[Responses as such are] a very, very important step, when [the team] can believe that when things go a bit south, we can respond to that,” Haase contended.
Next up, Stanford will face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Monday, November 20 at Maples Pavilion.