With freshman phenom Tyrell Terry absent from the Cardinal lineup, junior guard Daejon Davis and junior forward Oscar da Silva lit up Stanford’s side of the scoreboard with 18 points each to help the Cardinal down the USF Dons 64-56 on Tuesday. The win was the tenth of the season for the Card, keeping alive the program’s best start to the year since 2011.
Despite claiming the first basket of the matchup with a dunk by sophomore guard Bryce Wills just over a minute into play, control of the contest was hard to come by for the Cardinal for the majority of the night. Each successful Stanford shot was matched by one from the Dons well into the first half.
A deep three from freshman forward Spencer Jones at 13:09 was answered just ten seconds later from behind the opposite arc by USF sophomore forward Dzmitry Ryuny. A 10-2 USF scoring run then ensued, fueled at least in part by Stanford’s struggle to minimize turnovers; the Cardinal ended the night with 19, matching a season high posted against San Jose State just three days prior.
The struggle was no less real for Davis and da Silva individually as the first 20 minutes of action came to a close. The duo accounted for a staggering seven of Stanford’s first-half turnovers, and shot 2-for-4 and 1-for-5 from the field, respectively, as the Cardinal struggled 8-for-26 in shooting. When the buzzer sounded at halftime, Stanford had been trailing the Dons for more than 12 minutes and headed to the locker down 24-18.
As the teams returned to the hardwood after the break, all that Stanford could hope for was a momentum change in Maples. However, as USF stretched its lead to 11 less than a minute into the second half, it became clear that all Stanford could actually hope for was a comeback.
A comeback was just what Davis and da Silva had to offer. During a nearly six minute stretch in the second — from just under 15 minutes left to play to just over nine — the Cardinal scored 14 points as it fought to cut down the 35-24 advantage acquired by the Dons; all 14 points came from the high-scoring pair.
A jumper by USF’s redshirt sophomore guard Khalil Shabazz was counteracted by a layup from Davis, which was almost immediately complemented with a jumper from the junior. Though a Dons’ three-pointer pushed the margin back to 10, Davis took a trip to the foul line — after picking up an assist on a successful da Silva layup — and sank two in a row before snagging a defensive rebound and taking off down court to lay in another easy double and slice the Dons’ lead to just four.
Aside from Davis and da Silva, the Cardinal relied on 12 points from Wills and two late three-pointers from Jones to climb out of the 11-point hole that was still being dug as late as five minutes into the second half and claim an eight-point victory. A nod to Stanford’s defense, on which emphasis has been stressed by players and coaches alike, the Dons had averaged over 80 points per game heading into the contest.
Terry was kept out of the action due to an “upper body injury.” The injury is not expected to keep him out long term.
After Tuesday night’s game, the Card has two tests remaining before conference play begins, with the next matchup against San Diego on Saturday in the Al Attles Classic in San Francisco. Action will tip-off at the neutral site Chase Center at 12:00 p.m. PT.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.