What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas: Men’s basketball falls to No. 17 Texas

Dec. 21, 2021, 6:16 p.m.

In the first game of the inaugural Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge, offensive struggles plagued Stanford men’s basketball (6-4, 1-1 Pac-12) as its upset bid fell short in a 60-53 loss to No. 17 Texas (8-2, 0-0 Big 12). 

The Cardinal’s tenacious rebounding and defensive efforts allowed them to keep pace with the Longhorns during the first 16 minutes of the game. However, Texas finished off the half on a 7-0 run, which gave them momentum that carried over into the second half.

The Longhorns then extended their lead to a 51-33 advantage with 11:14 left to play in the game before an and-one layup from freshman forward Harrison Ingram ended a 4:24 scoring drought for the Cardinal.

Texas was causing all sorts of problems for Stanford’s offense, forcing a season-high 22 turnovers on the day for the Cardinal.

The high-energy play from head coach Chris Beard’s Texas team was demoralizing for Stanford throughout the matchup. The Longhorns lined up in the full court press for long periods of the game, and they managed to take three charges. These charges instigated every member of the bench to get on their feet and had them so fired up they could be heard on the nationally televised broadcast. 

Despite the loss for Stanford, there were a number of bright spots for the Cardinal. Ingram paced the team with 15 points, 13 of which came in a brilliant second-half showing. Freshman forward Maxime Raynaud came off the bench to anchor the defense, where he pulled down seven rebounds and recorded a pair of big-time blocks. He also showcased his long-range shooting ability with two last-minute jumpers — something promising to see, especially with his 7’1″ frame.

As a team, the Cardinal defense was also a silver lining, as they held Texas to 60 points, its lowest output of the season. The Longhorns shot 42.9% from the field and only 25% from deep. 

However, Stanford matched that three-point shooting percentage and paired it with a measly 41.7% (20-for-48), which goes to show that the game was far from an offensive shootout. In fact, there was over a five-minute scoring drought from both teams in the middle of the second half, which largely characterized the contest. 

The Cardinal will look to bounce back when they face off against Wyoming in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The game will be their first in the Diamond Head Classic, a tournament that will conclude Stanford’s non-conference schedule before Pac-12 play resumes in 2022. 

Tip-off versus the Cowboys is set for 2 p.m. PT on Wednesday night.

Zach Zafran is the managing editor of the sports section. He is a sophomore from the Bay Area, who is majoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. Zach has previous experience reporting and writing with SFGATE, and you can find him around campus wearing swim trunks no matter the weather. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachZafran and contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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