After coming up short Tuesday night against No. 14 North Carolina (3-0, 0-0 ACC), shooting struggle and foul trouble kept Stanford men’s basketball from reversing its fortune against Indiana (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in today’s third-place game at the Maui Invitational. Moving to 1-2 in the tournament and the season, the Cardinal fell to the Hoosiers 79-63.
Stanford got on the board early, taking the first lead of the game with two free throws from senior forward Oscar da Silva just 12 seconds into play. A jumper from da Silva on the next possession put the Cardinal up four on the Hoosiers, but it was there that Stanford’s luck ran out.
Indiana’s sophomore guard Armaan Franklin answered with a jumper of his own, spurring a 7-0 run for the Hoosiers and crushing any hopes Stanford had of controlling the pace of the game. Franklin attacked Stanford throughout the game, acquiring 13 points by the end of the night, which was complemented by an additional 15 from redshirt-junior forward Race Thompson.
As Indiana’s offense began charging ahead, fouling immediately became problematic for the Cardinal. Da Silva was cited with two just 15 seconds apart with over 17 minutes to go in the first half, earning the senior — who recorded 26 blocks and 142 defensive rebounds last season — some time on the bench, allowing the Hoosiers to attack the hoop. The Hoosiers did exactly that, notching 14 points from inside the key before da Silva returned with 12:13 left to go before the break.
Following in da Silva’s footsteps, freshman forward Ziaire Williams had two fouls to his name 10 minutes into the action, sending him to the sidelines to regroup as Stanford fought to keep Indiana within reach.
On the opposite side of the ball, struggles to find success shooting only added to the Cardinal’s challenges. Though Indiana managed to sink just 42.31% from the field and 14.3% from deep on 11-for-26 and 1-for-7 shooting, respectively, Stanford fared even worse during the first half. The Cardinal capitalized on just 2-of-10 from behind the arc and 9-of-26 from elsewhere, only managing to demonstrate consistency at the foul line, where the team picked up six points on six attempts. Despite Stanford’s 34.6% success rate from the field, the Cardinal only trailed by five, 31-26, at the half.
Halftime proved to be exactly the rest Indiana needed to find its footing and pull away from the Cardinal during the second 20 minutes of action. The Hoosiers converted on 16-of-25 attempts from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 12-of-15 from the charity stripe. Stanford’s second-half improvement manifested much less fiercely, with the Cardinal shooting just 37.04% from the field and 30% from deep, though Indiana fouls allowed for numerous trips to the foul line, from which Stanford picked up 14 points on 20 attempts.
Though shooting struggles and foul trouble — including Ziaire Williams to pick up his fifth and final foul with over six minutes to play — undoubtedly inhibited the Cardinal, perhaps the nail in the coffin was Stanford’s inability to control Indiana’s sophomore forward, Trayce Jackson-Davis. Topping the Hoosiers’ stats, Jackson-Davis recorded an impressive 31 points against the Cardinal defense, which was ranked No. 16 in the nation at the close of the 2019-20 season. Seventeen of the 6-foot-9 forward’s points came during the second half, helping the Hoosiers stretch their lead to 16 by the final buzzer. Jackson-Davis found success on 10-of-16 attempts from the field and sank another 11 from the free throw line.
On the Cardinal side, senior guard Daejon Davis topped Stanford’s offensive stats sheet with an 18-point performance while da Silva added 17 of his own, but with no other players recording double-digit efforts, the duo’s contributions could hardly offset the damage done by Jackson-Davis, Franklin and Thompson.
With the close of the Maui Invitational and in light of recent Santa Clara County restrictions put in place to curb coronavirus spikes, Stanford men’s basketball will remain in North Carolina to continue training throughout the coming weeks. The team’s remaining home non-conference games in December have been cancelled, per an announcement by Stanford Athletics, though the program is searching for an alternative location for its Dec. 19 contest against Arizona.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.