Stanford started this road trip needing a pair of wins, and that’s just what they got. After the win over Washington earlier this week, they never trailed today en route to a 75-57 victory.
There were a lot of things to blame for their 7 losses in 8 games, but a piece of it was health. Now, they not only have their full complement of players, but Daejon Davis is finally playing without a mask. And frankly, there aren’t many better lineups in the conference than the Stanford starting five.
In the 32 minutes Oscar da Silva was on the court, Stanford was +30. In the 8 minutes with him on the pine, they were -12. Everyone realizes the impact he has on Stanford’s offense, but his defensive impact is also massive. The Cardinal’s worst two defensive games this season in terms of Adjusted Defensive Rating were the Colorado game he was knocked out of, and the Arizona State game he missed.
Washington State mustered just 18 points in the paint all day, thanks to Oscar and company. But in spite of their inability to get two feet in the paint, they were able to hang tough for some time. CJ Elleby had a difficult going in the teams’ first matchup this season, but he was blazing to start this game. In the first half he scored 16 of his team’s 29 points, including 4 threes of varying degrees of difficulty.
Without playmaker Isaac Bonton, it was unclear how the Cougars would supplement Elleby’s contributions. In the first frame, they managed to do it with hustle and hitting the offensive glass. They held an 8-0 advantage in second chance points, and a 6-1 nod in points off turnovers. Still, Stanford’s 6 threes and quality looks overshadowed their 8 turnovers, and had them in the lead 36-29 going into the locker room.
One of the more welcome signs of the day came in the end of the first and start of the second halves, when Daejon Davis went into best mode on offense. The Washington native has been more passive at times this year, and has seen his shooting splits suffer over the course of the mask era. But matched up against old high school foes, he converted on 6 straight attempts from the field, including a pair of triples, and injected life into the Stanford attack.
Of course, Stanford promptly went more than 5 minutes without a point, much of it with Oscar da Silva on the bench. The reserve bigs largely had underwhelming showings today. The Cougars used their drought to methodically get back within striking distance, trimming the lead to as few as four.
But when Haase went back to his starters, the lead once again ballooned, thanks to a 10-0 spurt. They led by as many as 20 coming home, and the walk-ons made appearances in the final minute. CJ Elleby was nowhere near as much of a factor after the break, scoring 6 points on 2-8 from the floor.
Oscar da Silva led Stanford with 19 points and 10 boards. Daejon Davis added 17 points of his own, and Tyrell Terry scored 13 and dished out 5 assists. As a team, the Cardinal shot 56% from the field and made 11 of their 23 attempts from distance.
According to Joe Lunardi, Stanford is one of the first four out. Wednesday’s game against Utah seems vital, as it could be considered a poor loss. Their three games after that will likely be considered Quadrant 1.