For the first time in five game days, the Stanford basketball program went 2-0, with both the men and women winning their game against the Oregon State Beavers. Despite the identical result in the win-loss column, Tara VanDerveer’s team and Johnny Dawkins’s squad played their games in strikingly different fashions.
Men defeat Oregon State, 70-56
Stanford walked away into the brisk California night with a 14-point win, but don’t let the final margin fool you: the Cardinal did not put forth an impressive 40 minutes of ball. OSU head coach Craig Robinson’s (brother of First Lady Michelle Obama) 1-3-1 zone defense gave Stanford fits all night, and forced 18 turnovers. 13 of those turnovers came in a remarkably sloppy first half by both teams. Stanford managed to shoot 50% from the field–their best game field goal percentage in weeks–but only did so because the vast majority of their shot attempts came when they were able to elude the Beaver press and find open men in the paint for high-percentage looks.
The story of the game for the Cardinal was freshman wingman Anthony Brown, who exploded for 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Brown took advantage of his first start of the season, and the team-high 37 minutes that came with it, to expand his game and score from all over the court, as opposed to his usual spot-up shooting from the corners. Without Brown’s career game, Stanford would almost certainly have lost.
Stanford managed four successful alley-oops (all of which came after halftime) but the offense featured some head-scratching moments. Jarrett Mann, who repeatedly picked the ball up and fell into OSU’s trap and who shot 2-10 from the field, played 37 minutes. And Jeremy Green, the man who everyone thought would lead the Cardinal this year, scored just 6 points on 2-9 shooting. Green has not played like a star since December, and his confidence on the court has been visibly shaken. With the increased performance of freshmen like Anthony Brown and Dwight Powell (9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks) Green is playing like he knows that the team is quickly becoming the property of the talented freshman class.
Dawkins also chose to play the seldom-used John Gage (6 points), Robbie Lemons, and Josh Huestis, all of whom are freshmen who have yet to see significant college minutes. It was something of a strange personnel move–all three saw action early in the first half, when the outcome of the game was anything but sealed and non-rotation players really don’t need to be on the court.
For the Beavers, the revelation of the night was the play of freshman guard Ahmad Starks, who came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points in 29 minutes. Starks showed an exceptional burst and quick first step. He’s easily the quickest and most agile player that Stanford has faced thus far.
Ultimately, this was Oregon State’s game to lose, and they did just that. An abundance of missed lay-ups was the difference between a 14-point Stanford win and what probably should have been a comfortable victory for a Beaver team that looked better for the majority of the night.
Stanford improves to 11-9 overall and 4-5 in PAC-10 play. They now sit at #6 in the conference standings.
The Card will resume action next Thursday, when they host Arizona at 7:00 PM.
Women defeat Oregon State, 74-44
Stanford had no trouble dispensing the Beavers in Corvallis on Saturday afternoon. Stanford forward Kayla Pedersen had a game-high 21 points to lead the Cardinal, while point guard Jeanette Pohlen added 15 points. Stanford shot 55% from behind three and 46% from the field en route to yet another comfortable PAC-10 win.
Oregon State forward Earlysia Marchbanks had a team-high 19 points, but no other OSU woman scored as many as 8. The team shot 27% from the field and could not compete with the smothering Stanford defense, despite the relative equality in turnovers committed and rebounds won by Stanford and Oregon State.
Stanford stays on the road to play the Arizona schools in the desert next weekend. The Card will enter a Thursday match-up with Arizona State with an 18-2 overall record and a 9-0 mark in conference play. Arizona State currently holds a 13-6 overall record and a 5-4 PAC-10 record.