By Samuel Curry
In a game full of momentum swings and eight total lead changes, Stanford men’s basketball (4-5) was able to pull away from the Montana Grizzlies (4-3) and snap its four-game losing streak with a 70-54 victory at Maples Pavilion Wednesday night.
The Cardinal outscored the Grizzlies 26-4 after trailing 50-44 with 9:56 remaining in the game to finish a Montana team that missed its last nine field goals in the game.
Stanford had four scorers in double digits, with senior forward Reid Travis leading the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Daejon Davis followed closely behind, as he tallied 17 points driving to the basket, drawing contact and making some impressive finishes. Seventeen points is a career high for him.
“[Davis] has been put into a big role,” Travis said. “He has the talent and the poise to run our team, and as you can see, he’s growing each game.”
“He’s a tough kid, and he’s a heck of a player,” Stanford head coach Jerod Haase said of Davis after the game. “He’s a very talented player, and he’s going to continue to improve just like you saw tonight.”
Senior forward Michael Humphrey notched his third double-double of the season, as he finished the contest with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Junior guard Robert Cartwright also had a nice game, tallying 11 points for the Cardinal.
Turnovers were once again a problem for the Cardinal, as they committed 18 to Montana’s 11.
“We have such a long way to go on the offensive end, and our execution isn’t very good, our pace isn’t very good, and our attention to detail isn’t very good,” Haase said.
On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal, at least on paper, made some improvement, holding the Grizzlies to 54 points, the lowest total they have held an opponent to all season. Stanford forced Montana to just 29 percent shooting from the field and held Montana’s season leading scorer junior Ahmaad Rorie to four points on 1-10 shooting, his lowest-ever scoring total as a Grizzly.
“There’s no question that on the defensive end we have to slowly gain an identity,” Haase said. “I think tonight was a small step forward for that, but there’s still plenty of room for growth.”
The Grizzlies were led in scoring by junior guard Michael Oguine, who racked up 19 points on 40 percent shooting. Junior guard Bobby Moorehead was also a key contributor, posting a season-high 16 points and hitting three shots from beyond the arc.
“There’s a desperate desire in that locker room that they want to do well, and they want to grow and get better,” Haase said. “It’s not there yet, but we do need to go through these growing pains, and I do believe the growing pains are going to pay dividends.”
Montana now heads back home to face Cal State-Northridge Sunday while Stanford sets for a trip south to face Long Beach State. That game tips off at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Contact Sam Curry at currys ‘at’ stanford.edu.