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Stanford drops third straight

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Historically bad first half sealed Cardinal’s fate

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Florida vs Stanford Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford’s offense wasn’t sharp in yesterday’s duel with Wisconsin, but it seemed things could only go up from there. Today’s first half unequivocally shut down that notion. Florida took advantage of their impressive ineptitude en route to a 72-49 victory.

The 13 first half point total by Stanford was just 1 more than the school record for futility, and they didn’t eclipse that until the final second of the period. In fact, Bryce Wills’ two free throws before the buzzer were the only points scored by a Cardinal starter all half. They shot an anemic 21% from the field, and committed 13 turnovers to boot.

To add injury to insult, Daejon Davis tweaked his knee in the game’s opening minute. He returned to the court later in the half, but sat for the entirety of the second frame. Other than Kodye Pugh’s tomahawk finish, there simply weren’t many moments worth remembering for Stanford.

For the second straight day Stanford failed to hit 50 points. Cormac Ryan was the only player to record double figures, with 12 points on 4 threes in a second half flurry. No one else had a particularly notable game for Stanford. It got so bad that the broadcasters spent much of the game discussing aquatic animal bracketology. The sea lions made out better than the boys in Cardinal.

Florida was led by the 19 of Deaundre Ballard. Veteran Kevaughn Allen notched 13, and Noah Locke pitched in 11. The Gators also turned in a strong team defensive performance. Coach Mike White had an effective game plan, and led his side to a second win over the Cardinal in as many years.

Stanford will look to figure things out in their tournament finale; they face the loser of tonight’s Butler/Middle Tennessee matchup. Jerod Haase’s team is hoping to avoid consecutive years with 0-3 holiday tournament showings.