Stanford men’s basketball (5-3) continued its recent run in non-conference play on Tuesday with a 79-60 victory over DePaul.
Leading from the opening possession to the final buzzer, Stanford rode a huge first half from junior Marcus Allen to build a double-digit lead over a Blue Demons side that had scored a surprise victory against the Cardinal one year earlier. The team effectively reversed the mistake-ridden game it played last November, forcing DePaul into 20 turnovers and allowing the Blue Demons just eight free-throw attempts in a second consecutive controlling outing for the team.
“Our first-half defense was as good as it has been all year,” said head coach Johnny Dawkins. “We came together and made a lot of plays. We had active hands, got some deflections and got into passing lanes.”
The Stanford bench took over the offense for much of the second half, adding nearly half of the team’s scoring total after the break. Sophomore Dorian Pickens finished with 16 points and connected on 3-of-5 shooting from deep, while freshman Marcus Sheffield added 9 more in a season-high 27-point performance for the bench.
“When I come in, there should be no let-down, and maybe even more energy,” Pickens said after the game. “The big thing for us is we have a deep team and everybody comes to the game ready to contribute.”
Marcus Allen finished with a game-high 17, with Pickens, sophomore Reid Travis and senior Rosco Allen all scoring in double digits. Ball movement, a recent point of emphasis for the Cardinal, looked markedly improved from the team’s previous games as well, with Rosco Allen and senior Christian Sanders combining for 10 of the squad’s 17 assists.
Stanford next looks forward to a showdown against Texas on Dec. 19. The Longhorns have seemed to recover from a bit of early inconsistency under first-year head coach Shaka Smart, and the team will hope to take advantage of this chance to land a final signature victory before Pac-12 play begins in January.
The Cardinal tip off against the Longhorns at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.