After earning their first Power Five win of the season against Florida State on Friday, the Stanford men’s basketball team (3-4, 0-0 Pac-12) lost to the Memphis Tigers (4-2, 0-0 AAC) 56-48 in a low-scoring battle on Sunday. Poor offensive play continues to plague the team this season, as the Cardinal are now ranked 105th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom.
Stanford got off to a faster start in this game thanks to stifling defense and Memphis’ slow shooting start. The Cardinal held a 14-9 lead after 13 minutes of play. During this time, Stanford had a balanced scoring load, with five different players entering the scoring column.
But the play of guard Alex Lomax and forward DeAndre Williams propelled the Tigers forward, as they helped piece together a 15-0 run to flip the game in Memphis’ favor. The Tigers looked to be breaking the game open going into halftime, but sophomore guard Jarvis Moss knocked down a pair of threes at the end of the first half to bring Stanford within five at the break. At halftime the score stood at 25-20 in favor of the Tigers.
The poor offensive play from the first half carried over into the second half, as both teams had trouble establishing an offensive flow. Despite this carry over, the trio of Lomax, Williams and guard Kendric Davis provided just enough firepower to keep the Tigers at a three to four-possession cushion.
But the Cardinal were able to keep within striking distance thanks to a barrage of timely threes from the likes of junior forward Max Murrell, senior forward Spencer Jones and others. However, the lack of playmaking and shot-creation eventually caught up with the Cardinal, as they weren’t able to get the game any closer than two possessions down the stretch. The Tigers’ suffocating defense made it hard for Stanford to score, and Williams’ transition dunk with 50 seconds remaining spelled the end for the Cardinal, who faced a 54-46 deficit.
After an exchange of scores, the Tigers clinched a 56-48 victory and notched their third Power Five win on the season, while Stanford once again dropped to below .500. This marked the end of Stanford’s time at the ESPN Events Invitational. Prior to this game, the Cardinal lost to Ole Miss (6-1, 0-0 SEC) and defeated Florida State (1-7, 0-0 ACC).
The Cardinal have now suffered their fourth loss on the year, and the road will not get any easier from here. Up next, Stanford will head home to take on the No. 19 UCLA Bruins. Last season, the Bruins swept the season series against the Cardinal, and brought back key pieces from last year’s group like guard Tyger Campbell and forward Jaime Jaquez Jr.
The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. PT on Thursday.