Usually when you don’t allow a team to make a field goal in the final five minutes of a close game, you win. Certainly, when you allow just 3 in the last 13, you should come out on top. But that wasn’t the case for Stanford today.
There were a number things that didn’t go right for Stanford. For one, they shot 3-15 from deep, despite getting good looks for knockdown shooters. But more than anything, what changed this game was foul calls, deserved and undeserved.
Oscar da Silva played just 27 minutes today, probably about 10 fewer than Haase would’ve liked him to play. He picked up his 4th personal with more than 13 minutes to go, and fouled out at the under 4. It seemed like it might be a death sentence for the Cardinal, and indeed, OSU expanded the lead to as many as 10. But Jaiden Delaire was excellent in his stead, and other guys made plays. With 34 seconds to go, a Tyrell Terry jumper gave them a 1 point advantage.
Earlier in the year, Coach Haase explained that a referee called a foul on Bryce Wills because he didn’t expect him to make a block from out of position. Something similar seemed to be the case tonight.
With the clock ticking below 20 seconds, Oregon State got the ball inside to Tres Tinkle, deeper than Stanford would like him to catch it. He elevated for a shot only to have Bryce Wills reject it, without making contact with his body. The whistle blew, though, and Tinkle’s foul shots were ultimately the game winners.
It was a weird game. They allowed Oregon State to score just 18 points in the paint, forcing them into a lot of low value jump shots. The Cardinal had a +22 advantage in the lane. They only surrendered 2 second chance points, and committed just 10 turnovers. It’s odd to check so many boxes and come away with a loss.
Oregon State has 6 conference wins on the year, and 2 of them came against Stanford. They have two of the better isolation scorers in Tinkle and Ethan Thompson, and both of them were making their share of difficult looks tonight. A normally poor three point shooting team got 40% of their outside shots to go down.
Stanford was led by Bryce Wills’ 16 points. His offensive growth continues to be a treat to watch. Oscar da Silva scored 14 before disqualification, and Terry and Daejon Davis added 13 and 10, respectively.
This isn’t a death sentence for Stanford’s bubble hopes, but it makes things much more difficult. To feel comfortable, they’ll likely need to win 2 more games. A win against Oregon could be enough, but should they lose, they’ll need a strong showing in Las Vegas. A third matchup with this Oregon State team is a possibility on the tournament’s first day.