Chasson Randle entered the NIT quarterfinal just 11 points from becoming Stanford's all-time leading scorer, but after blowing a 21-point first half lead, the Cardinal would need far more than 11 points from their marquee senior guard.
Randle scored 24 points, breaking Todd Lichti's longstanding record and carrying Stanford to a 67-60 win over one-seed Old Dominion Tuesday. After helping punch the Cardinal's ticket to the NIT final, he ended the night with 2,350 points for his career.
Stanford (23-13) bolted out to a dominating lead in the early going, holding the Monarchs scoreless up until about the 15-minute mark and taking a 25-4 advantage midway through the first half of action.
Despite the massive deficit, the Monarchs mounted a furious comeback during the final 8 minutes of the first half culminating with Richard Ross' emphatic dunk with 10 seconds to go. Stanford's once massive lead was dissipated, and their Conference-USA opponents trailed by just six as the buzzer sounded.
Old Dominion (27-8) went on a crushing 23-8 run from the midway point of the first, setting up a second half that they didn't necessarily have to play catch-up in like the prior one.
Ross gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game with just over 11 minutes to go, but a dunk on transition from Stanford's Marcus Allen put the Cardinal up for good with just under eight minutes remaining. Randle, who hit a free throw towards the end of the first half to set the record, drilled two straight 3-pointers after Allen to seal the Cardinal's lead.
Randle, continuing his dominance in the second half, dropped in a floater with under two minutes remaining to put the Cardinal up 63-59 after a missed, game-tying 3-pointer from Old Dominion's Trey Freeman. Freeman, who sunk a buzzer-beating trey to top Murray State in the NIT semifinal, couldn't quite work his same magic against the only remaining Pac-12 team in the postseason. The talented Junior guard finished with just 13 points on 6-24 shooting.
Randle would hit a pair of free-throws after his clutch floater, extending the Cardinal's lead to six with 44.3 seconds on the clock. Midway through the second half, the senior picked up his fourth foul of the game, but he would fight through the foul trouble and spend less than two minutes on the bench after that, helping Stanford get back to the NIT championship game for the first time since his freshman season in 2012.
In total, the Monarchs starters combined for just 20 points. Aaron Bacote, who along with Freeman is one of the team's top two scorers, couldn't manage to tally a single point in the losing effort. Stefan Nastic, playing in what will now be his second-to-last game in a Cardinal uniform, added 17 points in the win.
While the Monarchs still remain winless against Stanford, the Cardinal will be moving on to face the ACC's Miami Hurricanes in Thursday's NIT Championship. Tipoff is set for 6 PM (PT) on ESPN from Madison Square Garden.