Game-winning shot by Rosco Allen secures win for Stanford over ASU

Jan. 25, 2016, 12:49 a.m.

Coming off one of the worst shooting performances of his career, Rosco Allen was determined to right the ship.

The senior forward scored the game-winner on a drive to the hoop with 3.2 seconds remaining in the game, as Stanford (11-7, 4-3 Pac-12) narrowly edged out Arizona State (11-9, 1-6) by a 75-73 margin.

Allen finished with 24 points on an 8-of-14 shooting night, a performance that comes just two days after he went 1-of-12 against Arizona. However, none of his shots were more important than the game-winning basket, the first of Allen’s collegiate career.

“Our first strategy was to get it to Marcus [Allen],” Rosco said of the final play. “They did a good job denying Marcus so I flashed back to the ball, looked at the clock and knew I had enough time to get it all the way to the rim.”

“Almost every week we run that play,” head coach Johnny Dawkins added.

Despite leading for almost 38 of the game’s 40 minutes, the Cardinal never managed to put the game away until the very end. It spoke to the resiliency of Arizona State, a team that frequently ate away at Stanford’s leads and almost managed to steal the game.

“Up eight, up nine and in the blink of an eye they’re back in the game,” Dawkins said. “That team has a lot of firepower and any mistakes you make they capitalize. You have to really play a flawless game in order to push the lead up.”

For the Sun Devils, sophomore point guard Tra Holder led the way with 18 points, including a layup with with 1:38 remaining in the game to give Arizona State its first lead of the night. Senior forward Willie Atwood contributed 16 points of his own. As a whole, the Sun Devils looked strong on offense, with the only major difference between the two teams’ stat lines being that Stanford shot 86 percent from the foul line in comparison to Arizona State’s 59 percent. 

For Stanford, Rosco Allen was the hero of the night, but he certainly wasn’t alone. The bigs shined for the Cardinal, as sophomore forward Michael Humphrey posted 11 points and 7 rebounds, while senior center Grant Verhoeven added 9 points and all 3 of Stanford’s blocks.

It was the latest example of what has been the resounding narrative for the team this season: the fact that any guy can step up on any given night. The balance from top to bottom on the roster has given Stanford’s offense a much different identity this year. As opposed to last season, when the Cardinal relied almost entirely on two or three options, this year’s version of the team gets much more production from its supporting cast.

“Sometimes we’re off, sometimes we’re on,” Verhoeven said. “We have to have an offense that allows us to play well, even when we’re not hitting shots. Tonight, we hit some and it really helped us out.”

The Cardinal will next travel to Boulder to take on Colorado this Wednesday, in the first game of a three-game road trip.

Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’

Sandip Srinivas '18 is the Football Editor, a sports desk editor and a beat writer for men's basketball and football at The Stanford Daily. Sandip is a sophomore from Belmont, California that roots for the San Francisco Giants during even years and roots for Steph Curry year-round. He is majoring in Symbolic Systems and can be contacted via email at sandips 'at'

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