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Game 26 Open Thread: Stanford at Oregon St.

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Ahmad Starks led Oregon St. with a career high 17 points in the first meeting of the season with Stanford, a game the Cardinal won 70-56.

<em>(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)</em>
Ahmad Starks led Oregon St. with a career high 17 points in the first meeting of the season with Stanford, a game the Cardinal won 70-56. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Stanford (13-13, 6-9) at Oregon St. (9-16, 4-10) - 6 PM - NSN NW

The Stanford Cardinal come to Gill Coliseum to start off the last weekend of home games for the Oregon St. Beavers, in a 6 PM game that FSN NW will carry.

The Cardinal have lost three straight, after having been swept at home by the LA schools last week, and sit in 8th. place in the Pac-10 race, 1 1/2 games ahead of Oregon St.

Stanford gave UCLA trouble, before falling 69-65, but didn't come nearly as close against USC, despite giving up the exact same point total, falling 69-53.

Big men inside were the Cardinal's downfall in both games, as UCLA's Reeves Nelson had an 18 point, 7 rebound night, and then USC's Nikola Vucevic muscled Stanford for 19 points and 14 boards. If Joe Burton and Angus Brandt can have a good night, that might bode well for the Beavers, though dominating post play has hardly been Oregon St.'s strong suit lately.

The other key difference between the two games for Stanford was their three point shooting. Jeremy Green made 5 of 8 three pointers, on his way to 27 points against the Bruins, and the Cardinal shot 47% (9 of 19) from outside the arc. But against the Trojans, Green was only 3 of14 from the field, and missed all of his three pointers. The Cardinal collectively made only 3 of 17 threes.

The Beavers' defense against the outside shot, and how hot or cold Bears' coach Johnny Dawkins' guys are, probably will determine the outcome, especially given how the Civil War battle in Eugene went.

Oregon St. lost 82-63 to Oregon, as they shot 19% (4 of 21) on three pointers, and it wasn't that good until after the game was out of hand. Meanwhile, the Ducks were hitting 50% of their three pointers, drilling 13 of 26.

So watch the three point line in this one; that's where the game will be decided at.

Stanford has won three straight against Oregon St., including a 70-56 win back on Jan. 29, as the Cardinal's Anthony Brown poured in 21 points. Brown buried back to back long bombs to open a 13-2 lead, but the Beavers battled back, taking the lead a couple of times before the first half was over.

Oregon St. was within one point midway in the second half, but went over 8 minutes without a field goal down the stretch, spoiling Jared Cunningham's homecoming. Only Ahmad Starks, who led the Beavers with a career high 17 points, was in double figures.

Stanford's colorful 3 guard offense of Brown, Green, and Jarrett Mann combined for 14 assists, including multiple lob in passes for dunks.

Interestingly, Stanford's win averted what would have been the Cardinal's first 5 game losing streak in 18 years, and if they should lose to the Beavers, they will be looking at having to win at "The Matt" (Matthew Knight Arena) against surging Oregon to again avoid that 5 game skid.

Oregon St. comes in having lost 4 games in a row, 7 of 8, and 10 of 12. Six of the ten losses have been by double digits, in most cases much more because of a lack of offense than defensive failings. Finding a reliable source of scoring would help as much as anything.

Chip in with analysis here, as both teams struggle to avoid the dreaded first day game at the Pac-10 Tournament. Only twice have first day winners managed to win in the second round.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com