Stanford men’s basketball (1-1 0-0 Pac-12) took on No. 17 San Diego State (2-0, 0-0 Mountain West) at Maples Pavilion in their first game against a ranked team. The Cardinal fell to San Diego State 74-62.
The Cardinal struggled defensively in the first half. Within the first 10 minutes, San Diego State made a 10-0 run that Stanford could not recover from, extending their lead from 7-5 to 17-5. By halftime, the Aztecs were ahead 41-30.
“[San Diego State] made a lot of big time shots,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “A couple, I think, were defensive errors on our part but a bunch of them were just big time players making big time shots, so I give them credit for that.”
In the second half, Stanford picked it up, trading buckets with San Diego State but unable to recover from their first half deficit.
“I actually thought we did some really good things,” Haase said. “Obviously the lead was bigger than what we wanted and [San Diego State] was making shots, but fundamentally, when we talked about our game plan, we really executed some things well.”
Senior forward Spencer Jones led the way for Stanford, scoring 15 points in the game. However, despite being known for his three-point shooting, he struggled, missing six of his eight three-point attempts.
“It’s a big part of my game but I still have ultimate confidence it’s going to fall, just like with the team,” Jones said. “Obviously, the last two games, we haven’t shot well but we have trust that’s going to fall.”
Sophomore forward Harrison Ingram joined Jones as one of the top performers, with 11 points in the game, as well as junior forward Brandon Angel and senior forward James Keefe with nine points each. Overall, the Cardinal managed to shoot 44.8% from the field.
“It’s going to take a lot more to shake my belief in the fact that we are a good shooting team,” Haase said. “After the start right now, it doesn’t look like that but I will say that in practice, in the workouts with the guys, I do think we are very, very capable. As time goes on, as the games come in and out, I think we’re going to see those percentages rise and I’m fully confident in that.”
This loss comes just days after Stanford’s visit to Milwaukee, where they fell to Wisconsin in the first ever Brew City Battle. “I don’t think the last trip impacted us; I think the guys were ready to play,” Haase said.
“We knew coming in it would be a battle and we’d have to play our A-game to be able to get there and I don’t think we played our A-game,” said Haase. “But I also think [San Diego State] certainly deserves a lot of credit for playing really well.”
The Cardinal will play again at Maples against the Cal Poly Mustangs (1-1, 0-0 Big West) this Friday. Tip-off is set for 8 pm.