Stanford women’s and men’s basketball teams won today while facing the Oregon Ducks. The women secured their 11th consecutive regular season PAC-10 title, while the men pulled off a fairly surprising upset in Eugene to break a 4-game losing streak.
Women defeat Oregon, 99-60
Oregon came out with a plan to play as physically as possible against Stanford, but the Ducks’ hard fouling in the game’s first 10 minutes may have just angered the Card. Stanford took some hard licks, but surged to score 56 points in the first half and put the game away early in the first period. With the aggression of senior point guard Jeanette Pohlen (20 points, 3 assists) at the helm, Stanford played an up-tempo game and took advantage of its superior depth. When Oregon’s starters began to tire, the Card capitalized by pushing the ball even more, getting to the rim, and drawing fouls.
Oregon’s fouling might have been the most peculiar part of the game. 3 Ducks fouled out by game’s end, and Oregon committed 13 more fouls than Stanford did. Oregon shot 23 free throws, while Stanford shot 45. Oregon’s physical defensive philosophy was not entirely futile: the Ducks forced several turnovers via the full-court press they applied beginning with Stanford’s first possession. Nonetheless, Stanford didn’t ease up on offense and produced its 3rd-highest scoring night of the season.
Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer had the benefit of 6 double-digit scoring performances, led by Pohlen and followed by Kayla Pedersen (13 points, 10 rebounds), Sarah Boothe (11 points, 9 rebounds), Chiney Ogwumike (10 points, 8 rebounds), Melanie Murphy (10 points), and Toni Kokenis (10 points). VanDerveer worked her entire roster and let 13 players see action, while Oregon put another 14 players onto the court. That’s right, 27 players checked in on Saturday afternoon in Maples Pavilion.
In her first game back from an ankle injury suffered during last week’s Southern California road trip, All-American forward Nneka Ogwumike looked good in her 12 minutes. For obvious reasons, her stat line (4 points, 4 rebounds) was atypical for one of the best players in the country, but she looked fairly healthy and competed underneath despite Oregon’s willingness to bang around in the paint. Although it looks as if she will play from here on out, don’t expect Ogwumike to resume playing her regular minutes until the NCAA tournament.
With the win, Stanford claimed its 11th straight regular season PAC-10 crown, and will almost surely win a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Stanford can complete a perfect regular season in the conference by beating Cal at home on Thursday night.
Men defeat Oregon, 88-71
Stanford entered Saturday’s game as a 5-point underdog and left Knight Arena with a comfortable late-season victory. Stanford shot the ball well (59% from the field) and forced Oregon into myriad bad shots, but the story of the game was the superb play of Josh Owens. The junior forward scored a career-high 31 points and collected 11 rebounds, as well as 4 blocks, to lead the Card. It wasn’t just a career-high for Owens, but also an obvious choice for the best game of his collegiate years so far. Owens’s previous scoring high was 21 points (set this year against Oklahoma State) and he had grabbed 10 or more rebounds just 3 times before in his time at Stanford, the most recent of which was a career-high 12 boards in a loss at UCLA in January.
Stanford saw significant contributions from freshmen Dwight Powell (11 points, 11 rebounds), Anthony Brown (12 points), and Aaron Bright (13 points, 5 assists). Junior Jeremy Green also scored 15 points.
Oregon guard Malcolm Armstead, who enjoyed an above-average game the last time these two teams met, broke out for 22 points and 6 assists. The majority of the rest of Oregon’s offensive production came from the bench, where Jay-R Strowbridge (16 points) and Johnathan Loyd (11 points) gave the Ducks a boost. Oregon shot exceeding well (90%) from the line, but only got off 19 free throw attempts.
Johnny Dawkins continues to fool around with player rotations, and this afternoon’s starting line-up might be the one to stick with for the short remainder of the season. Dawkins started, numbered by position:
- Jarrett Mann
- Jeremy Green
- Anthony Brown
- Dwight Powell
- Josh Owens
It’s a short line-up (no player stands above 6′ 9″) and it won’t accomplish much while defending the low post. But it puts the highest possible level of talent on the floor and features a lot of athleticism. And until Aaron Bright develops as a player that is unafraid to penetrate defenses rather than popping threes, Mann is the best 1-guard on the team. As effective as John Gage has been from downtown in recent weeks, Powell is significantly more talented and should be able to grow into an elite combo forward.
Stanford improves to 14-14 and returns to .500, and will need to at least split its two remaining games to stay at 50-50 on the year. They will face Seattle on Tuesday at 7:00 PM in Maples Pavilion.