Men’s basketball prepares to defend home court against Trojans

Feb. 13, 2019, 12:01 a.m.

After finishing off a three-game road trip last weekend, Stanford’s men’s basketball team (12-11, 5-6 Pac-12) returns to Maples Pavilion to host the USC Trojans (13-11, 6-5) this Wednesday at 8 p.m. PST.

Stanford is looking to bounce back from a loss against Oregon (15-9, 6-5) on Sunday. The 46-69 defeat was a humbling crash back to earth for the Cardinal, who had built up momentum with a three-game winning streak against Colorado (14-9, 5-6), Berkeley (5-18, 0-11) and Oregon State (15-8, 7-4).

The Oregon game seemed doomed from the beginning. Missing the leadership of sophomore point guard Daejon Davis, Stanford came out of the gate an abysmal 0-13 from the field. The Cardinal finished the game shooting a frigid 27 percent from the field and 3-18 from the distance, whereas the Ducks found the bottom of the net on 44 percent of their attempts. Freshman guard Bryce Willis led Stanford in scoring with 13 on 50 percent shooting. Sophomore forward KZ Okpala, who had 10 points, and Willis combined for half of the offensive production for the Cardinal. Stanford had just three assists in the entire contest.

USC is coming off a nail-biting loss against Colorado, in which neither team led by more than five points during the entire game. The Trojans had the advantage with under two minutes remaining, but went cold in the clutch as the Buffaloes escaped Gallen Center with a 69-65 victory. Bennie Boatwright led USC with 24 points.

Stanford and USC have already met earlier this season. Despite freshman shooting guard Cormac Ryan pouring in six threes, USC claimed a 77-66 victory, taking revenge for Davis’ spectacular half-court buzzer beater last year. The good news for the Cardinal is that they are facing the Trojans at home, as Maples Pavilion has consistently proven to be a huge factor for the team. Stanford has won its last four games against USC while playing at Maples and are 7-2 overall at home this season. In addition to Boatwright, USC’s main offensive threat is Nick Rakocevic, who has been averaging a near double double (15.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game).

Looking ahead, Stanford will host UCLA (12-12, 5-6) on Saturday at 7 p.m. PST, before heading east to face Arizona State (16-7, 7-4) next week.


Contact Stephen Ren at rensteph ‘at’

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