Stanford men’s basketball (14-13, 7-8 Pac-12) came up short once again, falling 70-54 to Arizona (16-12, 7-8 Pac-12) and dashing any hopes of postseason berths. It was the Cardinal’s nineteenth straight defeat at the hands of the Wildcats.
“Like any streak, there’s always those moments where you just roll your eyes, whether the streak is against you or for you,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “Like I’ve said before: the other 17, they don’t help you win game 18. You have to do it all over again.”
Ira Lee came off the bench to lead Arizona in scoring with sixteen points before fouling out with 5:29 remaining. “Ira has been playing the best basketball of his career lately,” Arizona’s Justin Coleman said. “I’ve seen him grow. I’ve seen him every day, extra shots before practice, after practice. I’m really proud of this guy.”
Coleman himself had fourteen points, but on 4-13 compared to Lee’s stellar 6-7. Chase Jeter was 7-10 for fourteen points and Zach Randolph rounded out the double digit scorers with 10.
Brandon Williams, who missed the last six games with a sore right knee, played eighteen minutes and scored four points for the Wildcats. Miller wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play against Stanford, but the freshman came off the bench early in the first half and added three assists.
“Even though he had a small role tonight, you could sense it was a shot in the arm,” Miller said. “He gives us some much-needed depth and equally some much-needed firepower. We’re a better team with him for sure.”
Arizona led coast to coast, and were up by eleven early after a quick 14-3 run to open the game.
“We dug our hole early and didn’t really get enough momentum to gain the advantage,” head coach Jerod Haase said. “I thought our guys fought and fought the entire time. The big difference was early in the game and that really hurt us.”
Stanford shot well on the night, but struggled from deep. The Cardinal were 39.6 percent from the field, but shot just 20 percent from beyond the arc. Both senior center Josh Sharma and sophomore forward Oscar da Silva shot 5-8 to score 11 and 12 points respectively. Sharma was a force on the glass as well, securing 12 rebounds.
From an Arizona halftime lead of 8, Stanford cut it to four with 15:14 to play after da Silva’s sole three-point make of the game, but Randolph answered with a three of his own on the other end.
Sophomore forward KZ Okapala, who was absent from Wednesday’s loss to Arizona State, returned to shoot 5-9 for ten points and four rebounds. Stanford was led by sophomore guard Daejon Davis and his 14 points, five rebounds and eight assists.
“The vast majority of the shots we’re taking are shots we need to take,” Haase said. “We just need to start making them.”
Stanford did not receive many contributions aside from those four, as freshman guards Bryce Wills and Cormac Ryan scored four and three points on 1-6 and 1-9, respectively. Ryan’s three points meant the Stanford bench was outscored 23-3.
The Cardinal will be at home in Maples Pavilion for the final three outings of the season, with Washington State (11-16, 4-10 Pac-12) up next on Thursday.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.