Defeated by Ducks, men’s hoops closes regular season

March 8, 2020, 4:05 a.m.

Battling No. 13 Oregon (24-7, 13-5 Pac-12) is a challenge, but Stanford men’s basketball (20-11, 9-9 Pac-12) handled the Ducks in Maples on Feb. 1. Battling Oregon on its home court in front of a packed Matthew Knight Arena on Senior Night is another story. Led by senior guard Payton Pritchard, the Ducks downed the Cardinal 80-67 in both teams’ regular-season finale.

After securing the tip, Oregon took just 15 seconds to score, with a 3-pointer from Anthony Mathis putting the Ducks up 3. Pritchard followed with one of his own from behind the arc seconds later to stretch the home team’s lead to 6 less than a minute into play. 

The triple was just one of four that Pritchard would sink en route to a game-high 29 total points. Scrappy Cardinal defense managed to pressure the guard into missing five shots from deep, but Pritchard compensated by drawing fouls and sinking 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Unfortunately for Stanford, Pritchard was hardly Oregon’s only scoring threat; Mathis and Will Richardson finished the night with 14 and 12 points, respectively, and Addison Patterson adding an additional 9. 

The depth of Oregon’s offense proved especially difficult for a Cardinal team that, thanks to 15 turnovers, often found itself trying to defend in transition. Nine of the errors by Stanford came in the first half, making the Cardinal rely on a 5-for-7 showing from the 3-point line to keep the Ducks within 5 points at the end of the first half. 

Stanford’s 71.5% success rate from beyond the arc in the first half was nearly double that of the team’s season average of 37.2%, but the Cardinal were unable to replicate the consistency after the break. Only two of Stanford’s nine 3-point attempts fell in the final 20 minutes of play, both of which came from freshman forward Spencer Jones. Of Jones’ 15 points on the night, 12 of them came on long-range launches. 

Jones was just one of four Stanford players to finish the game in double digits; junior forward Oscar da Silva paced the team with 18 points, while junior guard Daejon Davis and sophomore guard Bryce Wills recorded 13 and 10, respectively. It was the third-straight game in which four Cardinal players have posted 10 or more points.

Ultimately, the numerous double-figure contributions by Stanford failed to lessen a 15-point gap established by a 12-2 Oregon scoring run in the second half. For the last 14 minutes of action, the Cardinal never managed to pull within 7 points of the Ducks. The night ended with Stanford losing by 13 and Oregon claiming its 17th-straight win on its home court. 

Looking ahead, Stanford enters the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas as the conference’s seventh seed. The Cardinal commence their postseason campaign Wednesday in a first-round game against No. 10-seed Cal. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. PT. 

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’

Savanna Stewart is a managing editor in the Sports section. She is a junior from Twin Bridges, Montana studying Political Science and Communication and enjoys running and playing basketball. Contact her at sstewart 'at'

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