We knew there would be nights like this, when shots weren't falling, passes weren't connecting, and bounces weren't going Stanford's way. We knew Johnny Dawkins' freshman-laden squad would have games when it made careless decisions that, to borrow a phrase from ESPNU color commentator Stephen Bardo, left its coach and its fans follicly challenged.
If you missed the Cardinal's 55-52 loss to Murray State in the quarterfinals of the 76 Classic, well, you have yet another reason to be thankful. Go have another slice of pumpkin pie, or three.
Jeremy Green, who was coming off consecutive 21-point games, was held scoreless for 39 minutes. The junior made three 3-pointers in the final 45 seconds, but it was too little too late for the Cardinal, which shot 1-for-13 from beyond the arc before Green got hot.
Green picked up his second foul less than 6 minutes into the game and spent much of the first half on the bench. Dwight Powell kept Stanford within striking distance, scoring 12 of his team-high 16 points, including a 3-pointer from the corner, in the first half. Powell, who is averaging 11.3 points per game and shooting an impressive 69 percent from the field, also committed five of Stanford's season-high 18 turnovers. Fellow freshmen Aaron Bright and Anthony Brown combined to shoot 0-for-6.
The Racers, who led by as many as 14 points in the first half, lulled Stanford to sleep with their methodical halfcourt offense. Josh Owens helped cut into a 29-18 halftime deficit with 8 points after the break, but fouled out with more than 5 minutes remaining. Stanford was within six points with 2 minutes to play, but Green missed a 3-pointer, Jarrett Mann missed a pair of free throws, and Murray State's B.J. Jenkins made a layup to all but ice the game.
Stanford (3-1) will play the winner of tonight's late game between Tulsa and UNLV on Friday at 8:30 p.m. If you're interested in making the trip to Disneyland, there are plenty of
seats rows full sections available.