Strong offense secures men’s basketball win in Corvallis

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After suffering its first conference loss to the Ducks on Saturday, Stanford men’s basketball (6-3, 2-1 Pac-12) overcame its offensive struggles to topple Oregon State (5-4, 1-2 Pac-12) in an 81-71 victory Monday afternoon in Corvallis.

For the third straight game, the Cardinal was without senior guard Daejon Davis after he sustained an injury in the game against Arizona. The program was dealt another blow when junior guard Bryce Wills came down with an injury four minutes into the first half of Monday’s game.

“Bryce has been the utility guy all year,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “He has done everything from guarding the best player and being asked to play a bigger leadership role, so it was a big loss.”

However, Wills’ and Davis’ absences did not hinder the Cardinal’s performance.

Bouncing back from his somewhat quiet performance against the Ducks, senior forward Oscar da Silva dominated on the offensive end, recording his first double-double of the season with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

“It was a tough loss,” said da Silva regarding Wills’ early exit. “But we compensated really well. [Freshman guard] Michael [O’Connell] did a fantastic job coming off the bench. Everybody that came in the game tried to provide energy for Bryce being out.”

O’Connell earned several career-highs with 12 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. Junior forward Jaiden Delaire also helped compensate for Wills’ loss, recording season-highs with 19 points and nine rebounds.

“Playing angry and a little bit ticked off was a good thing for him today,” Haase said of Delaire’s performance. “He seemed to have a chip on his shoulder, and it was exciting to see that in his play today.”

“Jaiden stepped up big time, especially in the second half and down the stretch,” da Silva said. “He made some really, really nice plays, and he’s such a good ballplayer.”

“It was a collective effort and a really good team win,” da Silva added.

Regardless of what Delaire and da Silva’s big numbers may suggest, both teams struggled to get the ball rolling early on, with each team scoring just 33 points by the end of the first half. After a nine-point scoring run at the beginning of the second half, Oregon State started to find its range from beyond the arc, overcoming a 10-point deficit in the middle of the second half.

“Oregon State played hard and effectively,” Haase said of the Beavers’ tenacity on the court. “They fought back every time we held the lead and vice versa.”

“As the game wore on, we continued to give up threes in the second half, but we were able to continue making adjustments and limit [the Beavers’] percentage in the end,” he said.

Foul trouble from Oregon State and the late surge by the Cardinal — including 7-for-8 shooting during the last eight minutes of the game — proved to be enough to overcome the Beavers, as they made only one field goal in their last nine attempts.

After its hard-fought win in Corvallis, the Cardinal is ready to head back home, wherever that may be due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County.

“The Oregon trip has been an extended trip, but it is going to be exciting to go back to California,” Haase said of the team’s time in Eugene and Corvallis.

The Cardinal is next set to take on the Washington Huskies at home on Thursday at 6:00 PT. Per a Stanford Athletics statement, the game will be played at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz.

Contact Jordan John Lee at jjslee22 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Jordan John Lee ’22 studies Biology and Classics and is a writer for the News and Sports sections of The Daily. He enjoys watching tennis, gymnastics, and his hometown LA sports, the Lakers and Dodgers. He loves all forms of coffee and loves to listen to new music! Contact him at jjslee22 ‘at’ stanford.edu.