By Inyoung Choi
Stanford men’s basketball (16-8 , 5 -6 Pac-12) fell to ASU (16-8, 7-4 Pac-12) at home on Thursday night, 74-69.
“The biggest disappointment on my side was the overall energy,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “I need to do a better job creating energy and giving that to the guys … I thought that lack of energy ended up getting on the floor, and we couldn’t get out of that.”
The Cardinal entered the game following last weekend’s emotional loss to Colorado, where standout junior forward Oscar da Silva left the game four minutes into the second half after suffering an undisclosed injury during a collision with Colorado’s Evan Battey. da Silva did not return to the bench following the injury on Saturday and was missing from the Cardinal’s lineup against the Sun Devils on Thursday, marking the first night of the season that the Cardinal played without him on the court.
As a skilled player in both defense and offense, the side effects of da Silva’s absence were apparent in all aspects of the game. The junior forward records the team’s highest field goal percentage at 59.5% and scores an average of 15.9 points per game, also a team best.
Without da Silva, other players were forced to step up. Freshman guard Tyrell Terry scored 24 points, which ties his career high. It was the freshman’s eighth 20-point game of the season.
Freshman forward Spencer Jones kicked off the game by scoring the first points for Stanford when he successfully sank back-to-back 3-pointers just over four minutes into play. Jones ended the first half having contributed a 3-for-6 effort from deep. Sophomore forward Jaiden Delaire worked to repeat his recent 19-point performance against Colorado, and finished the first half by netting 4-of-7 attempts. Delaire scored several layups that preceded a successful dunk just three minutes before the break. Meanwhile, to support the team’s offensive efforts, junior guard Daejon Davis had a hand in a total of four assists. Stanford ended the first half trailing by seven, with the scoreboard reading 36-29.
In the second half, Terry and sophomore guard Bryce Wills worked to narrow the gap for the Cardinal. Coming back from the break, Terry scored the first goal for Stanford with a 3-pointer less than a minute after the buzzer signaled the start of the second half. Terry scored another 3-pointer roughly six minutes into the game, and within about 30 seconds, Wills followed up with a layup for the team. In the next minute, Willis netted another layup.
Unfortunately for the Cardinal, what appeared to be a turnaround for the game came to a pause for the next several minutes, when the home team saw little action outside of free throws, while the Sun Devils scored three times from the field. With a little over five minutes left in the game, the Cardinal was at a nine-point deficit.
With just over three minutes remaining, Terry fought to bring victory back within reach for the Cardinal. Starting with a successful layup off of freshman forward James Keefe’s defensive rebound, Terry followed up his basket with another one, narrowing the margin to 68-63. In less than a minute, Terry seized the ball following an ASU shot-clock violation, drove the ball to the basket and stunned the crowd with another two points for the Cardinal — narrowing the score to 68-65.
Even with Stanford’s offensive efforts in the final moments, fouling the Sun Devils was necessary to preserve time. The resulting trips ASU took to the foul line proved lethal to the Cardinal, who came up just five points short.
“We tried to create our own energy a little too late,” Terry said of the team’s scoring surge in the second half.
On the visitor’s team, ASU’s star junior guard Remy Martin, one of the top-five scorers in the Pac-12, proved to be a formidable opponent. Martin’s dominance in Maples only attested to his glowing stat sheet, where he tops the team records by averaging 17.9 points per game. In the first half alone, Martin scored 13 of the team’s total 36 points thanks to a near-perfect 5-for-6 job from the field, in addition to two successful free throws. In the second half, Martin succeeded on 4-of-8 attempts to score a total of 24 points for the night.
The Cardinal ended the game with a final 26-for-50 effort, and although the Cardinal’s shooting bounced back from the previous two away games — Stanford had recorded a season-low field goal percentage of .354 at the game against Utah and a meager improvement of .414 against Colorado — it was not enough to make up for the gaps in defense. It was even more difficult, however, to make amends for the 20 turnovers committed by the Cardinal, which the Sun Devils managed to convert into 19 points.
“One of the keys to the game was getting shots and limiting our turnovers,” Haase said. “Obviously that’s been a theme throughout the year. … 19 turnovers for the game is gonna be too many.”
Next up for Stanford in Pac-12 play is the Arizona Wildcats. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. PST on Saturday at Maples Pavillion.