Oregon State (14-8, 6-4) entered the game in lone second place in conference play, coming off an impressive road trip against the mountain schools. With the way the Pac-12 has been this year, we should’ve known they’d lose this one; it was too good to be true.
Stanford (12-10, 5-5) led wire to wire. Unlike so many games where they’ve been slow out of the gate, they found themselves up double digits in the blink of an eye. The Cardinal had it going from deep early, as they made 6 of their first 9 three point attempts. Daejon Davis hit all three of his offerings from distance.
Oregon State had no answer for Oscar da Silva. Jerod Haase has often lamented that the German sophomore is too passive offensively. That was not the case tonight, as he fearlessly attacked the Beaver defense and nation’s leading shot blocker, Kylor Kelley. He had 17 points before the break.
A late 6-0 run put Stanford up as much as 19 before the halftime horn. But with Daejon Davis and Josh Sharma sitting with foul trouble, the Beavers mounted a late charge to cut it to 48-35.
The Beavers came out of the locker room with renewed vigor, but they couldn’t get the margin any closer than 9 points. When they appeared poised to make an early charge, Josh Sharma ripped off a personal 6-0 run to push it back up to 15.
With 17:38 to go, Stanford suffered a scary moment. Oregon State star Tres Tinkle drove the baseline, knocking heads with Daejon Davis. The Stanford point guard picked up the personal foul, then was unable to pick himself up from the hardwood. He went back to the locker room and did not reemerge.
In Davis’ stead, much of the ball handling duties fell on freshmen Bryce Wills and Cormac Ryan. Wills promptly proceeded to get called for three charging fouls. Ryan, however, was more of a steadying influence. His return to the court was crucial tonight, even if the stat sheet didn’t show it.
Oregon State kept the game in reach for much of it. But in the late minutes, Stanford played lockdown defense, forcing 12 straight Beaver misses. Josh Sharma’s play was spectacular, and Marcus Sheffield added 8 late points to end any hopes of a comeback.
Oscar da Silva had a career high 23 for Stanford, to go with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. It was arguably his best game in a Stanford uniform. Josh Sharma contributed 20 points and 8 boards. Daejon Davis had 11 points in just 13 minutes, and KZ Okpala added 10, albeit on 2-9 shooting.
The Beavers were led by Tres Tinkle’s 16. Tinkle entered the game as the conference’s leading scorer. Stephen Thompson Jr scored 15, and his brother Ethan chipped in 14.
Stanford heads to Eugene to play Oregon on Sunday. At 5-5, the conference is still their oyster.