A career-high 21 points from sophomore forward Jaiden Delaire carried the Cardinal (5-0, 0-0 Pac-12) to a 76-55 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (0-5, 0-0 MEAC) on Tuesday. It is the first time Stanford has opened a season with five wins since 2011.
Delaire’s previous career high of 14 points came just two games earlier against Long Beach State, when he and freshman guard Tyrell Terry were the scoring leaders for the Cardinal.
“I don’t want to give myself a ceiling at all,” Delaire said of his expectations for himself throughout the remainder of the season. “I just want to play as hard as I can and see what happens.”
As a freshman, Delaire appeared in all 31 games, averaging 3.8 points per game. In five games this season, the forward has averaged almost three times as many, with 10.8.
“He’s continuing to grow and learn,” said head coach Jerod Haase of Delaire’s recent success on the court. “I’m confident really good things are going to happen but it is going to be tied… largely to his ability to really compete and just embrace the idea that playing hard is going to get him where he needs to get to.”
Delaire finished 7-for-10 from the field and 6-for-9 from the foul line in his 24 minutes in the game. Despite the big numbers from Delaire, however, Stanford’s performance after halftime was rocky at best. The Cardinal defense managed to hold the Hawks to a mere 16 points and .250 field goal percentage in the opening 20 minutes, but the second half of the matchup featured a 13-3 scoring run by Eastern Shore and two complete substitutions as Cardinal coaches grew frustrated.
“We were trying to insert a little bit of energy, “ Haase said of the floor change just two and a half minutes into second-half play. “And get guys out there playing hard and intelligently. That didn’t work either.”
Stanford’s next opportunity to hone in on its defensive skills comes on Thursday against William and Mary in the sixth straight home game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. PST at Maples Pavilion.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.