Despite coming off their first win of the conference season, something just didn’t look right with Oregon State from the start. The Beavers were playing with their usual unwavering confidence and solid effort but their execution, and their ability to slow down some of Stanford’s stand-out talents, was noticeably lacking. Forty minutes later, without a change in mindset in the cards, Oregon State (5-24) picked up their 15th Pac-12 defeat of the year in a 79-66 beating at the hands of Stanford (14-13). The loss would negate any chance that Oregon State had to string back-to-back wins together for just the second time all-season long.
On the night, Stanford was led by their usual suspects, paced by potential All-Pac-12 forward Reid Travis (17 points, 8-11 FG, 8 rebounds), senior guard Marcus Allen (15 points, 7-11 FG, 3 steals) and junior guard Dorian Pickens (15 points, 6-10 FG, 4 steals). Pasadena native Robert Cartwright (10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) was the fourth Cardinal to post double-figures in scoring, pitching in his ten points on 6-10 shooting from the field in just 21 minutes of game action. As a team, Stanford shot 57.1% from the field and stole the ball from Oregon State a stunning 13 times in the game.
For the Beavers, the trip to Stanford was a bit of a regression, as a viable supporting cast against Utah sunk back into their old ways, leaving forward Drew Eubanks (21 points, 14 rebounds) to carry the load. Eubanks scored 17 points in the second-half alone, pacing a Beavers comeback attempt that never seemed to materialize. Guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (8 points, 3-11 FG), the team’s leading scorer, didn’t make his usual impact either, as the sophomore guard struggled to find his flow in the match-up. It also didn’t help the Beavers comeback chances that their bench contributed just six points in the loss.
One bright spot that can be taken from this game however, was the breakout performance from big man Gligorije Rakocevic, who tallied a career-high 16 points on 7-10 shooting from the field. Rakocevic usually serves his role as a rebounding enforcer with great ease next to a proven talent like Eubanks up-front but when he finds his spots, “Big G” has been known to display a developing skill-set. In his last three games, the 6’ 11” sophomore from Montenegro has now scored in double-digits twice.
Oregon State will have a quick return to action, as the Pac-12 regular season schedule nears its completion, when they travel to California (18-9) on Friday night for a 7:00 PM PT contest. The Golden Bears are coming off a buzzer-beating loss at the hands of #6 Oregon, which extended their losing streak to three games and narrows their margin over USC for 4th place in the Pac-12 standings. California won their first meeting against Oregon State earlier this year in Corvallis, 69-58, when a balanced Golden Bears offense picked apart a lackluster Beavers defense. In that game, sensational sophomore forward Ivan Rabb, led California with an 18-point, 8-rebound effort.
For Stanford, the season continues on Saturday afternoon against the aforementioned Ducks. That game is slated for a 1:00 PM PT start and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.