The Cardinal rebounded Wednesday night -- on the offensive glass AND from its crushing loss against Colorado on Sunday -- and beat the Beavers on the road, 78-72, in what felt like an even bigger margin.
With 13:45 left in the first half, Oregon State's trapping zone defense collapsed on Dorian Pickens on the perimeter. Pickens saw the approaching double-team and calmly threw a skip pass to a wide-open Marcus Allen, who buried a three. Stanford went up 10-7 on the heads-up play and never gave up its lead. The Cardinal's ball-movement largely looked crisp and selfless.
But the real story was the grunt work, the "effort" stats. Stanford muscled its way to 46 rebounds -- 17 more than Oregon State and 17 more than the Cardinal had against Colorado. Stanford continually crashed the offensive glass, pulling down 20 offensive boards to OSU's 9. That's a statement stat: going on the road, after a tough loss at home, and creating lots of second-chance opportunities by just wanting it more. That's a sign of a gritty team. Grant Verhoeven came off the bench and got 4 offensive rebounds. Michael Humphrey had 3. Pickens had 3 and Marcus Allen had 4.
Rosco Allen again lead the offense, scoring 21 and hitting 3 of 5 threes. Oregon State's senior guard, Gary Payton II, had a game-high 22 and continues to lead the Beavers in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. (Side note: if his dad was nicknamed The Glove, does that make him The Mitten?)
Stanford beat Oregon State who beat Oregon who beat Cal. It's early, but it looks like there might be lots of parity (and depth) in the conference.
The Cardinal will play Oregon on Sunday night.