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M. Basketball: Offense stalls in loss to Washington

 

Another strong effort from senior forward Josh Owens was not enough for the Stanford men’s basketball team, as the squad fell to the Washington Huskies in convincing fashion.

 

The Huskies (12-7, 5-2 Pac-12) had a lot to play for Saturday night at the Alaska Airlines Arena, as their head coach, Lorenzo Romar, entered the game a win away from both his 300th career win and 100th career conference win. This added motivation would prove all that the Huskies needed. They got it done for their coach, swamping Stanford (15-5, 5-3 Pac-12) defensively en route to a 76-63 victory. The loss marked the end to a disappointing weekend for the Cardinal, which suffered a loss to Washington State on Thursday.

 

After a surprising 10-1 start, the Card has been unable to find its groove. With this loss, the team fell to fifth in the Pac-12. Stanford hasn’t had much luck on the road in conference play, dropping three of its four games. Stanford will need to right the ship this week in practice, with a matchup against first-place California looming.

Sophomore guard Aaron Bright tied for the team lead with 14 points, but the Stanford offense had trouble against the Washington defense in a 76-63 loss. (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily)

 

The Cardinal stuck with the Huskies for the beginning of the first half, but after sophomore forward Josh Huestis’ jumper cut the Washington lead to 13-11, Stanford went stone cold. The Card would only score one field goal for the next 10 minutes of play, going a miserable 1-for-17 from the floor until a nice dish from senior guard Jarrett Mann led to a three-point play for sophomore forward Dwight Powell. Despite the scoring drought, the Card faced just a seven-point halftime deficit.

 

Stanford could not stop Washington’s guard play in the second half, as sophomore Terrence Ross and freshman Tony Wroten combined for 26 points. For the game, Wroten led all scorers with 21 points, while Ross, who was most recently named Pac-12 Player of the Week, finished with 18.

 

After a Mann layup pulled the Cardinal to within five with 14:48 remaining, the Huskies went on an 18-2 run to lead 61-40. Stanford would not be able to overcome this deficit, as the team struggled to find an offensive rhythm.

 

Stanford was outrebounded for only the third time this year, as Washington burned the Cardinal with offensive rebounds and second-chance points. A very solid 16-to-nine turnover margin in the Cardinal’s favor was equalized by the teams’ shooting performances. Stanford shot a lowly 35.9 percent from the field and 15.8 percent from beyond the arc, while Washington shot 50.8 percent and 35.7 percent from three.

 

Owens was the only Stanford player to shoot above the 50-percent clip, going 7-for-13 from the floor for 14 points. Sophomore guard Aaron Bright added 14 points of his own on 5-of-13 shooting.

 

The win was more than just a milestone for Romar, as his team leapfrogged Stanford in the Pac-12 standings, improving to just a half game out of first place. With 10 conference games remaining, the Cardinal will have to make the most of its schedule if it intends to put forward a strong case for the NCAA Tournament in March.

 

Stanford will look to get the ball rolling again this Sunday when it travels to Berkeley. The Golden Bears currently sit in a tie for first in the Pac-12, just a game ahead of the Cardinal. A win next weekend would put Stanford to regain its footing in the Pac-12, while a loss would be a major blow for a struggling team.

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