Stanford men’s basketball (8-3, 4-1 Pac-12) completed its sweep of the Washington schools on Saturday, securing the 75-60 victory over WSU (9-2, 2-2 Pac-12) in Santa Cruz. Senior guard Oscar da Silva notched a game-high 27 points, his fifth 20-point performance of the season, to lead the Cardinal to the win.
With 15 points in the final 10 minutes of play, da Silva could be considered one of the deciding factors of Saturday’s action. Though the Cardinal had fought its way to an eight-point lead by the start of the second half, several multiple-minute scoring droughts kept Stanford from leading comfortably.
A demonstration of his capabilities at all spots on the floor, a pair of three-pointers from Washington State’s freshman forward Andrej Jakimovski helped to close the gap with 12.5 minutes to play. Another pair from deep by freshman center Ebe Abogidi with just under nine to go put the Cougars on top for the first time of the night.
“Defending the three for us needs to get a little bit better obviously,” said head coach Jerod Haase, in reference to Stanford’s biggest challenges during the game. “[WSU] certainly made shots [and] we needed to do a better job of keeping those percentages down.”
For the second full game, the Cardinal was forced to operate without senior guard Daejon Davis and junior guard Bryce Wills. Since Wills’ first year at Stanford, the pair has developed a well-known identity as a dangerous defensive duo, with Davis repeatedly being among the conference’s top-ten leaders in steals and Wills being dubbed the nation’s best defender last year after allowing just 0.613 points per possession. The guards have remained on the sideline after Davis suffered a leg injury in December and Wills experienced a knee injury on Monday, forcing the Cardinal to drastically adjust as consequence of lacking not only its starting guards, but also its defensive floor generals.
While Stanford held the Cougars to just 37.5% and 34.5% shooting from the field overall in the first and second halves respectively, WSU consistently did damage from behind the arc. The Cougars went 11-for-24 from deep over the course of the night, including 7-for-14 during the back 20 minutes of the game. Stanford, on the other hand, managed to sink just 3-of-17 attempts from long range, going an atrocious 1-for-9 in the first half.
What the Cardinal could not take care of from the three-point line, the team worked to make up on the foul line. Nineteen fouls by Washington State set Stanford up for 21 attempts at the charity stripe, 16 of which were successful. The points acquired at the free-throw line were the work of just four Cardinal forwards, however. Da Silva capitalized on 6-of-9 attempts, while freshman Ziaire Williams was 6-for-8 and junior Jaiden Delaire and freshman Brandon Angel both went 2-for-2.
Williams and Delaire also joined da Silva in the double-digits on offense, adding 16 and 10 points, respectively, to Stanford’s side of the scoreboard. With the three forwards topping the Cardinal’s offensive stat sheet, 42 of the team’s points came from within the paint. Williams and Delaire also snagged two steals a piece to help Stanford score a total 23 points off of forced turnovers, while da Silva reeled in three offensive rebounds to help the Cardinal secure 13 second chance points.
With the Washington sweep under its belt, Stanford returns to the road next week for meetings with Utah and Colorado. The Utes will be the first to challenge the Cardinal, with tip-off set for 2 p.m. PT on Jan. 14.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.