The Stanford men’s basketball team (6-12, 1-7 Pac-12) defeated the Oregon State Beavers (7-12, 1-7 Pac-12) 67-46 in Maples Pavilion on Thursday night to notch their first conference win of the season. With the win, the Cardinal are now tied with Oregon State for last place and also tally their first win of the new calendar year.
The action got started right away as after the tip-off, junior guard Michael O’Connell hit sophomore center Maxime Raynaud on an early run-out to begin the game. This helped catalyze an early one-to-two possession lead for the Cardinal, who were able to get open looks on offense while forcing the Beavers into contested 3-point shots on defense. Raynaud, graduate student guard Michael Jones and senior forward Spencer Jones spearheaded a balanced scoring attack that allowed Stanford to get out to its early lead.
“We were able to come out strong tonight and attack instead of being attacked,” Michael Jones said after the game.
Later in the half, Stanford continued its smothering defense, pressuring the Beavers into settling for contested mid-range shots while also getting high-percentage shots at the rim on offense. Spencer Jones also buried three 3-pointers in the first half to extend Stanford’s lead all the way out to 17. The 31-14 lead held by the Cardinal was their largest during Pac-12 play this season. However, Oregon State didn’t lay down, hastening their scoring effort within the last two minutes to make it a single-digit 31-22 deficit at halftime.
No Oregon State player scored more than 5 points during the first half and the team shot just 38% from the field, illustrating the woeful offensive performance put on display by the Beavers.
However, the Beavers’ run toward the end of the half seemed to flip momentum, as Oregon State tallied the first 8 points of the second half to cut the lead to just one.
“There was no panic,” head coach Jerod Haase said of his team’s response to the Beavers’ run. “It was just try to execute the offense and defense a little bit better.”
But the Cardinal were able to stymie Oregon State’s run with a 19-1 run of their own over the course of the following seven minutes to extend the lead up to 19. Michael Jones got back on the scoreboard with three straight 3-point shots to energize the Maples crowd once more. Jones amassed 14 points in the second half to lead Stanford. In addition to Michael Jones, sophomore forward Harrison Ingram and Raynaud chipped into the scoring load with six points each in the final period.
Stanford remained relentless on defense, not allowing Oregon State to score for a seven-and-a-half-minute stretch in the second half. The Beavers’ inability to score helped ossify Stanford’s ever-growing lead. Oregon State shot just 35% from the field and accumulated eight turnovers in the second half.
After Stanford had all but clinched the game, holding a 22-point lead with 1:23 remaining, head coach Jerod Hase brought senior walk-ons Josue Gil-Silva and Roy Yuan into the game. While neither Gil-Silva or Yuan scored in their brief appearance on the court, their presence in the game amped up the student section in the closing minute.
Up next, Stanford will take on the Oregon State’s foe to the south, hosting the Oregon Ducks (11-8, 5-3 Pac-12) in Maples Pavilion on Saturday. The Ducks have weathered some early-season struggles, and they have picked up wins against No. 11 Arizona and Utah, two of the top teams in the Pac-12 standings. Last season, Stanford defeated Oregon at home thanks to a buzzer-beater by former Stanford forward Jaden Delaire.
“I remember [last year’s] game really well,” Spencer Jones said. “I think they were even a little bit better last year so we have a lot more confidence coming in this year that we know we can keep this up.”
This game will be the next test to see if the Cardinal can turn around their season. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT on Saturday.