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Cardinal comeback: Men’s hoops edges Washington in home thriller


While every Stanford men’s basketball victory is undoubtedly a team effort, the description is especially fitting of Thursday’s matchup between the Cardinal (13-2, 2-0 Pac-12) and the Washington Huskies (11-5, 1-2 Pac-12). Four Stanford players recorded ten or more points en route to a 61-55 come-from-behind victory and the only unblemished record in Pac-12 play. 

Whether or not the Cardinal could handle the Huskies remained unclear for the majority of the night. An abysmal 27.6 first half field goal percentage reflected Stanford’s recent shooting struggles. Though a three-pointer from freshman forward Spencer Jones got Stanford on the board just over a minute into play, the five unsuccessful shots that followed, and Washington’s 7-0 scoring run, made it clear that a dub over UW would not come easily. Washington’s zone defense kept Stanford largely limited to shots from the perimeter, but only 3-of-14 from behind the arc fell in the first half.

“There’s really nothing you can do to make final preparations,” head coach Jerod Haase said in regard to adjustments made after witnessing Washington in action during the opening minutes. “You can’t be fully prepared until you get to the game.”

Unfortunately for Stanford, it wasn’t until after Washington had charged its way to a 12-point lead, its largest of the night, that evidence of any preparation became clear. With just under 12 minutes to go in the contest, the Cardinal trailed 47-35 after Washington’s Nahziah Carter, who was undaunted by Stanford’s defense as he tallied 16 total points, sank one from deep. Moments later, however, freshman guard Tyrell Terry answered with a deep triple of his own — the perfect inspiration for the Cardinal comeback it preceded.

Stanford found success from the three-point range on four more occasions before the final buzzer completed the comeback, including another one from Terry. The freshman finished with 11 points to his name, and was joined by freshman Spencer Jones and juniors Daejon Davis and Oscar da Silva in the realm of double-digit offensive performances. Terry also recorded a team-hit six assists.

“I had a slow start shooting-wise,” Terry said. “But Coach kept telling me … to have confidence, and I tried to create for others, get some assists.”

“Coach has faith in me to shoot the ball, and he told me that plenty of times this week, coming into this game,” he added. “So I just stepped up and shot it.”

Faith in the freshman has not been given without warrant: Thursday’s game was Terry’s 13th game of double-digit scoring.

During Stanford’s 14-1 run to close the game, Davis drilled a three-pointer as the shot clock expired. Davis also found himself at the free throw line after sophomore Bryce Wills went down hard and was unable to take them himself, and made 1-of-2. As a team, Stanford was 6-of-12 from the charity stripe, but had better luck than Washington’s 12-of-25.

In a quick turnaround, the Cardinal will battle the Washington State Cougars on Saturday in the third consecutive home game for Stanford. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion.

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’

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Savanna Stewart is a managing editor in the Sports section. She is a junior from Twin Bridges, Montana studying Political Science and Communication and enjoys running and playing basketball. Contact her at sstewart 'at'