Stanford men’s basketball (11-11, 4-7 Pac-12) forced 13 turnovers and held its opponent to just 62 points in a sloppy game at Maples Pavilion Thursday night. Even so, a laborious Stanford offense only managed to break the 50-point mark in the final minute of the game, dropping its fourth straight game in a 62-50 loss to Oregon State (15-8, 6-6).
Stanford is now facing its longest losing streak of the season and is in a precarious position heading into its final seven games of conference play. The Cardinal have struggled as of late, losing by an average margin of over 16 points following their seventh loss in the Pac-12.
Head coach Johnny Dawkins chalks up his team’s recent offensive stagnation to a visible lack of confidence.
“I know my team,” Dawkins said. “I can tell by some of the opportunities we’re getting out there that we’re hesitant… You can’t get a better look than some of the ones we’ve got, and we’ve turned some of those down. That’s an indicator to me that we’re not as confident shooting the basketball as we have for most of the season.”
The Beavers, meanwhile, did just enough to escape with a win, managing 45.8-percent shooting from the field despite the game’s slow pace and dissonant rhythm. Tres Tinkle led Oregon State with 19 points in 28 minutes. Senior guard Gary Payton chipped in 14 points and 5 rebounds and led Oregon State down the stretch, helping to curtail a late Stanford push in the closing minutes.
After a 2-4 start in Pac-12 play, Oregon State now holds a .500 record through 12 games in the conference for only the third time since 1993.
Oregon State’s unorthodox zone, which featured hybrid elements of man-to-man coverage, disrupted an already ailing Stanford offense. The Beavers’ length and athleticism caused problems for the Cardinal in the second half, a period that the Cardinal would rather soon forget.
Dawkins had particularly high praise for Payton’s role in the Beavers’ defensive scheme.
“He’s probably one of the best two-way players in our conference,” Dawkins said. “Defensively, he’s very disruptive. In that zone, for a player like him who has long arms, he has great anticipation and he causes a lot of problems.”
Stanford managed just six baskets in the last 20 minutes, shooting a season-low 24 percent overall during the half. Senior forward Rosco Allen, the Cardinal’s most reliable offensive weapon, had only 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting as Stanford’s leading scorer, including 1-of-6 from behind the arc.
The Cardinal defense was perhaps the lone positive takeaway in an otherwise forgettable night. Dawkins’ 2-3 zone took away enough driving lanes to force the Beavers into late shot-clock situations for most of the night.
Despite a paltry offensive performance, Stanford was able to cut the lead to five with just over a minute remaining after a Dorien Pickens three. It was the Cardinal defense, however, that was unable to get the much-needed stops in the final possessions to complete the comeback. The Beavers answered the Cardinal’s final run by putting the ball in Payton’s hands, and Oregon State closed out the final minute with six points to seal the win.
Stanford will have to regroup quickly if it hopes to continue playing deep into March. The Cardinal face No. 11 Oregon on Saturday and will match up against four of the conference’s top five teams in their remaining seven games.
Contact Irving Rodriguez at irodriguez ‘at’ stanford.edu.