Final Score: Stanford 70 Oregon St. 56
Anthony Brown's 21 points led Stanford past Oregon St., as the Beavers had another bad day in the Bay Area. Oregon St. coach Craig Robinson swept through the bay in his first season with the Beavers, but they have now dropped both halves of the trip for the second year in a row. Three of the losses, including both this season, have been by double figures.
Stanford started both halves hot, and while Oregon St. rallied back both times, the second rally couldn't get over the top, and the Beavers ran out of offensive gas, allowing the Cardinal to pull away.
Robinson changed up the starting lineup, with both Calvin Haynes and Lathan Wallace, as well as Kevin McShane all on the floor to begin the game. Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins made a couple of changes as well, including starting the freshman Brown for the first time in his college career, rendering the pregame scouting reports on both teams rather irrelevant.
Hot three point shooting, including back to back long range shots by Brown got Stanford off to a 13-2 start, and Jared Cunningham picked up two early fouls, and set down seven minutes into the game. Which might have sent the FSN audience channel surfing.
However, Oregon St.'s 1-3-1 zone, and a lot of traps, got the Beavers back into the hunt. An 8 to 1 advantage on steals for the Beavers, 7 by other than Cunningham, wad critical. Oregon St. also resisted the temptation to try to shoot their way back into the game with three pointers.
Ahmad Starks hit back to back baskets for the Beavers, and shortly thereafter a layin to pull Oregon St. back into a 20-20 tie. Another Starks three pointer gave him 9 points for the game in relief of Cunningham, and the Beavers a 25-24 lead.Oregon St. went 10 players deep, and Stanford 12, well before halftime, as both coaches searched for the right combination to break out of what has been difficult offensive times for both teams.
Wallace's three pointer put the Beavers up 28-27, and a pair of free throws made it 30-27.
Brown's three pointer gave him 12 first half points, and the lead back to the Cardinal, who took the 31-30 advantage to the locker room at halftime.
Wallace buried another three pointer to keep Oregon St. close in the early second half going, but Josh Owens, invisible early for the Cardinal, had 6 quick points, and Brown got going, forcing Robinson to an early time out to stop the Stanford run, just as he had to do at the beginning of the game.
The Beavers again patiently clawed their way back into it, and Omari Johnson pulled Oregon St. within two points, at 47-45, and then within one, at 49-48 by midway in the second half, as Stanford was held without a field goal for around 4 minutes.
It was as close as the Beavers would get though, as the Cardinal responded with a 6-0 run, while the Beavers suffered a three minute scoring drought of their own. A 10-2 Stanford run opened a 60-50 lead with just over 5 minutes left.
Oregon St. went over 8 minutes without making a field goal, while Brown connected on his 4th. lob pass to Dwight Powell for the dunk that expanded Stanford's lead to 64-51 with 3:40 left in the game.
Defense on the backline was a problem again tonight for Oregon St., but the Beavers' inability to create offense, or to successfully score when they did, did them in. Collectively, Oregon St. shot just 30% from the floor.
And Dawkins' game plan, and half time adjustments, proved too strong for Robinson's in game adjustments.
Owens eventually finished with 14 points off the bench, converting 7 of 9 shots, and was the only other Cardinal besides Brown in double figures.
That gave Stanford one more significant scorer than Oregon St., as only Starks, who finished with 17 points, reached double figures. Both Haynes and Wallace were just short, with nine points apiece.
Cunningham's homecoming didn't come off as well as hoped, between the lopsided loss Thursday in Berkeley, and fouling out with only one point scored in Palo Alto. Roberto Nelson also had another ineffective evening, with only a single basket for the second consecutive game.
At least not many may have noticed; attendance was only 5,442, and the anti-climatic ending wasn't must endure tv.
Stanford (11-9, 4-5) broke a 4 game losing streak, and is seventh in the Pac-10 at the mid-way point of the conference season, with the Arizona schools coming to the Bay Area next week. The win allowed the Cardinal to avoid what would have been their first 5 game losing streak in 18 years.
Oregon St. (8-12, 3-6) dropped into ninth place, and when they return home Thursday, will face conference leading Washington. The game will be an early one, with a 6 PM start, for FSN NW coverage. The Beavers will need a healthy dose of offensive improvement by then in order to keep up with the Huskies, who handled Oregon St. 103-72 in their first meeting of the season.