Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams spent their Thursday evenings taking on the Oregon Ducks. For the women, even a trip to a brand-new arena in Eugene (crazy floor and all) wasn’t enough to derail another overwhelming performance by Tara VanDerveer’s unit; the men could not leverage their home court advantage into a win against their opponents from the north. That’s right: Stanford hoops went 1-1 for the fourth consecutive game day. Here are your Friday morning Farm basketball recaps.
Women defeat Oregon, 91-56
By a score remarkably similar to that by which the Card took down USC last Saturday afternoon in Maples, Stanford took care of business and finished the Ducks off in the first 12 minutes of the game (the Card led 21-5 with 10:04 left in the first half). Oregon entered the game with a solid 12-6 overall record and 3-4 mark in the PAC-10, but never stood much of a chance against the potent offensive attack of Stanford. 5 Cardinal women recorded double-digit scoring performances (the Ogwumike sisters, Kayla Pedersen, Jeanette Pohlen, and Sarah Boothe) while Pedersen (11 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Chiney Ogwumike (18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) led the way for Stanford. The team shot 44% from the field and more than doubled Oregon’s rebounding by grabbing 62 boards to Oregon’s 30.
That is not an error. Stanford pulled down 62 rebounds, and Oregon pulled down 30.
And Oregon’s troubles weren’t so much a study in futility as they were a testament to how exceptionally well Stanford is playing. In the biggest loss of the season for the Ducks, Oregon shot 25% from the field and 9% (9% !) from three, but even a spectacular shooting performance would not have made up for the Ducks’ inability to rebound on Thursday night.
Oregon guard Nia Jackson and center Amanda Johnson both deserve credit for being the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing game for the home team. Jackson posted a game-high 21 points, and Johnson scored 15 points to compliment her team-high 8 boards.
Stanford was bigger, faster, and more talented than the Ducks. That’s about all there is to it.
The Card are now 17-2 overall, 8-0 in conference competition, and 7-2 on the road. They will face the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday at 12 noon in Corvallis.
Men fall to Oregon, 67-59
Quick: when was the last time that Oregon beat Stanford in Maples Pavilion?
Unless you’re over 35 or are a Stanford basketball trivia buff, you probably wouldn’t have guessed the correct answer: the winter of 1986.
It’s been that kind of year for the Stanford men. After a monumental win two weeks ago against the PAC-10-leading Washington Huskies, the Card have lost four consecutive games, and only one of the four–the Washington State loss–was close. Stanford is in freefall mode, and it all comes back to a problem that Cardinal fans have fretted about, and had to endure watching, all year: a complete lack of offensive firepower.
Stanford played good defense–Oregon’s 67 points was slightly over 2 fewer than their average point production. But defense only wins championships if the offense beside it can hold up its end of the bargain. In failing to score 60 points for the 7th consecutive game (they last broke 60 against Cal, on January 2) Stanford’s offense defaulted on its side of the deal. To put Stanford’s scoring woes into perspective, the #1 team in the country, Ohio State, has scored fewer than 60 points only once this season, and it came in an easy and fairly irrelevant win at Florida State in November; #2 Pittsburgh has also scored fewer than 60 only once, and it came this week against Notre Dame; #3 Duke, the alma mater and coaching training ground of Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, has never scored fewer than 60 points this season and has only scored fewer than 70 once (in a loss to Florida State).
The point is not that Stanford should compare itself to the best three teams in the country. The point is simple: to be good, Stanford has to score the basketball.
Stanford did get good scoring performances from freshmen Dwight Powell (14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks) and Anthony Brown (12 points, 3 rebounds), but Jeremy Green scored only 13 points and Josh Owens only took 3 shots. The Card remain cold from three (32%) and still can’t make free throws consistently (62%).
As we discussed in Tuesday’s preview of the game, Joevan Catron took the lead for the Ducks and led all scorers with 15 points. Senior guard Jay-R Strowbridge (perhaps he’s not quite as cool as Jay-Z?) came off the bench to add 13 points for the Ducks.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned preview that appeared here on Tuesday laid out almost exactly what actually occurred in the game: Catron pushed Stanford defenders around, and the Cardinal relied upon a perimeter shooting attack rather than pounding the ball into the paint. That’s a bit strange: if we can figure this stuff out, opposing coaches won’t have any problem doing it, either.
Stanford is now 10-9 and 3-5 in the PAC-10, and falls to 8-2 at home. They will host Oregon State in Maples Pavilion on Saturday night at 7:00 PM.