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No way (San) José: Men’s hoops holds off the Spartans

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Stanford men’s basketball (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) hosted San José State (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West) in an early season, West Coast showdown at Maples Pavilion Monday night. The Cardinal struggled in the first half but finished strong, defeating the Spartans 76-62.

Against San José State, head coach Jerod Haase debuted his third unique starting lineup in as many games. New additions to Monday’s lineup included redshirt junior guard Sam Beskind and freshman forward Maxime Raynaud. Veteran senior forward Jaden Delaire came off the bench, as he did in Stanford’s season-opening win over Tarleton State.

The Cardinal got off to a solid start in the opening minutes, taking a 10-7 lead following a layup from freshman Harrison Ingram. Then, the offense fell silent.

For the next five minutes and change, the Cardinal managed just one field goal — a wide-open dunk by Delaire — as the Spartans opened a 16-12 lead.

Although Stanford got back on the board with a Delaire triple, the remainder of the first half was characterized by the Cardinal’s offensive struggles. For the period, Stanford recorded dismal shooting numbers across the board: 37.9% from the field, 20.0% from three and 35.7% from the foul line.

San José State’s offense simply outpaced Stanford, as the Spartans shot a scorching 60.0% from the field and 57.1% from three in the first half. When the buzzer sounded, San José State enjoyed a 38-29 advantage.

Delaire and Ingram accounted for the majority of Stanford’s first half scoring, tallying 10 and 12 points, respectively. The only other bright spot for Stanford in the half was its offensive rebounding — the Cardinal exploited their size advantage to nab 11 offensive boards.

With San José State threatening to put the game out of reach, Stanford came out of the locker room with a burst of energy. 

“We took it a little bit personal at half-time,” Delaire said. “We had to look ourselves in the mirror and try to figure out what type of team we really wanted to be. We came out in the second half and tried to be a bit more physical.”

The Cardinal’s physicality had immediate results, as Raynaud connected on a layup on the opening possession, and Ingram scored on the next.

For the following eight minutes, Stanford found its groove on offense. All five Cardinal players on the floor were in sync, passing, cutting and finding open looks in the paint. Slowly, Stanford cut into the San José State lead.

When Delaire knocked down a corner three, the Spartans lead had shrunk to a single point. On the following possession, Delaire cut backdoor and caught an alley-oop pass from Ingram at the top of the key. Delaire completed the play with a thunderous dunk and, with 12:30 left to play, gave Stanford its first lead since the opening minutes.

Riding high on the energy of the home crowd, the Cardinal added to their run. On the next offensive possession, Ingram nailed a three to make the score 53-49 to cap off a 10-0 Stanford dominance over three minutes.

It was all Cardinal from that point forward. San José State couldn’t sustain its hot shooting. In fact, the Spartans registered worse percentages (28.6% from the floor, 15.4% from three) than Stanford did in the first half. In contrast, the Cardinal shot the ball efficiently in the second, going 59.4% from the field and 50.0% from behind the arc.

In the end, Stanford outscored San José State 47-24 in the period. The scoring disparity was especially pronounced in the paint, where the Cardinal dominated the Spartans 34-8.

Aside from Delaire and Ingram residing atop the stat sheet with 19 points apiece, the Cardinal crew saw contributions from all around. Raynaud had 11 points and six rebounds, while junior forward Spencer Jones and sophomore guard Michael O’Connell each eight to the scoreboard.

In just his third game at the collegiate level, Ingram came four assists shy of a triple-double, notching 11 rebounds and six assists to go along with his second consecutive 19-point performance.

“He’s physically ready, as we see, to play at this level,” Haase said of Ingram. “Obviously he can score the basketball and dominate the game that way, but when he’s in the game and the ball’s in his hands, he has the ability to make others better.”

Indeed, Ingram’s plus-minus of +11 for the game indicated his ability to help Stanford beyond just scoring.

Stanford’s second-half comeback against San José State was particularly important after the team’s tough 72-88 loss to Santa Clara last Friday.

“It didn’t sit well with us,” said Ingram. “Our main goal is to go to March Madness, to go dancing in the tournament. To do that, we needed to bounce back with a win.”

Stanford men’s basketball will look to build on this win as it hosts Valparaiso (0-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley) Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT.

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Gavin McDonell is a desk editor in the sports section. He is a sophomore from San Francisco, California who is studying Mathematical and Computational Science and Economics. His rooting interests include the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors, Max Homa and of course, the Stanford Cardinal. Contact him at gmcdonell 'at' stanforddaily.com.