After Friday night’s win against Green Bay, Stanford men’s basketball (4-7, 0-2 Pac-12) fell to No. 7 Texas (9-1, 0-0 Big 12) 72-62 on Sunday during the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Despite missing head coach Chris Beard following his arrest earlier in the week, the Longhorns were able to muster enough offensive firepower in the middle of the second half to push them over the edge.
Unlike previous games against ranked opponents, the Cardinal were able to gain an early advantage against Texas. Stanford jumped out to an 11-5 lead, its largest of the game, but could not hang onto the ball, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half. Texas took advantage, creating 11 points off of Stanford turnovers.
“In the first half we had too many turnovers,” said head coach Jerod Haase. “In the second half, there were a few turnovers, but they were costly, especially early in the second half in the transition points.”
Despite this, the Cardinal were able to keep within striking distance, shooting 50% from the field and 44.4% from the 3-point line. Graduate student guard Michael Jones and senior forward Spencer Jones led the way offensively, scoring 8 and 7 points, respectively, in the first half. Stanford also forced the Longhorns into taking contested jump shots while limiting their attempts at the free throw line.
For Texas, forward Timmy Allen and guard Sir’Jabari Rice scored 10 points each in the opening frame, while forward Dylan Disu followed with 5 points.
After leading in the first half 31-28, the Longhorns extended their lead all the way to 15 points. Texas guard Marcus Carr started heating up during this stretch, and scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Costly turnovers from Stanford led to Texas getting out in transition for easy baskets.
But the Cardinal were not done trying to piece together a comeback. Stanford fomented a 13-1 run and once again came within striking distance, closing Texas’ lead to just 5 points with 4:50 remaining. The run was again catalyzed by Stanford’s defense, which forced the Longhorns into missing 13 out of 14 shots during the stretch.
However, Stanford was ultimately unable to overcome Texas’ shot-making and strong second-half defense down the stretch.
“I was proud of our guys to fight back in the second half,” Haase said. “I thought our game plan was sound; I thought our players understood it.”
Michael Jones led the Cardinal with 17 points. Junior forward Brandon Angel followed with 11 points, and Spencer Jones with 10 points.
Up next, Stanford will head back to the Bay Area to take on Loyola Chicago (6-5, 0-0 A-10) in Santa Cruz, Calif. Despite making prolific runs in the NCAA tournament in the past five years, the Ramblers have had some struggles in this young season, already accumulating five losses.
The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday.