Widgets Magazine

Randle’s 33 unable to translate into victory over Cougars

Stanford men’s basketball (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) could not overcome foul trouble and second-half offensive woes, losing 89-88 at Washington State (10-11, 4-5) on Saturday.

The Cardinal echoed their hot start against Washington on Wednesday, getting off to a 29-15 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and shooting over 70 percent from the field. Crisp passing on the perimeter set up multiple open 3-point looks for senior guard Anthony Brown and junior forward Rosco Allen. Sophomore guard Marcus Allen looked particularly lively on offense, getting to the basket on explosive baseline cuts.

As the first half came to a close, Stanford’s offense started to stagnate, settling for contested shots from isolations instead of creating space off of screens and cuts.

Washington State was able to come back on the strength of aggressive play from guard Que Johnson, ending the half up 42-41. With Brown, Stanford’s best perimeter defender, guarding DaVonté Lacy, Johnson scored 12 points in the first half. The Cardinal’s post defense suffered when senior center Stefan Nastic checked out after picking up two fouls with nine minutes left in the half. In Nastic’s absence, WSU’s Johnson and Josh Hawkinson were especially aggressive, shooting a majority of the Cougars’ 20 first-half free throw attempts.

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Chasson Randle’s team-high 33 points were unable to overcome a poor defensive performance. (LAUREN DYER/The Stanford Daily)

To start the second half, Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins experimented with a few different defensive alignments to control the Cougars. He moved Brown off Cougars star guard Lacy and onto Johnson. However, Lacy caught fire to start the half, hitting two quick threes and extending the Cougars’ lead. Stanford found its offensive touch five minutes into the half, when senior guard Chasson Randle caught fire. Randle fought through the surprisingly stout Cougar defense with dazzling step-back threes and quick drives to the rim. When it seemed Stanford could do nothing else on offense, Randle almost single-handedly kept the Cardinal in the game, finishing with 33 points.

Although Lacy and Randle both turned in elite performances for their teams, the Cougars’ star had more support from the rest of his team. Hawkinson and Jordan Railey were strong on the offensive glass, securing several key rebounds off long misses. Although Johnson cooled off after his quick start, guards Ny Redding and Ike Iroegbu were able to help take some of the Cardinal’s defensive attention off of Lacy. Apart from Randle, Stanford was not able to get any contributions from its other starters.

“One man’s not going to win a game for you,” Dawkins told the Cardinal Sports Network. “I thought we had too many guys watching Chasson score.”

Nastic continued to struggle with fouls, and had to be replaced by freshmen Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey for most of the half. Meanwhile, Brown and Rosco Allen were not able to replicate their hot shooting from the first half.

Despite the Cardinal’s struggles on offense, they were able to keep the game close for most of the half. With five minutes left in the game, Washington State was able to pull away on the strength of Hawkinson and Lacy. Lacy’s jumper with just under four minutes left gave the Cougars a 78-70 lead. Although Randle and Brown were able to consistently get to the line down the stretch, Stanford could not stop Lacy, who finished with 25 points. After briefly moving to a 3-2 zone, Stanford mostly matched Randle on Lacy, keeping Brown on Que Johnson even though his length neutralized Lacy early in the game.

With under two minutes left in the game and the Cardinal down by six, Stanford had to resort to fouling Washington State and relying on missed free throws. The Cougars did not oblige, with Iroegbu and Redding each hitting two clutch free throws to seal the win for Washington State. A late three by freshman guard Dorian Pickens brought the game to one point, but it was not enough to prevent Stanford from dropping their third conference game.

Stanford next plays UCLA at Maples Pavilion on Thursday, as they look to remain in third place in the Pac-12.

Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’ stanford.edu.

  • Candid One

    “One man’s not going to win a game for you,” Dawkins told the Cardinal Sports Network. “I thought we had too many guys watching Chasson score.”

    During crunch time in previous games, Coach Dawkins’ comment usually would apply.
    Mike Montgomery was the TV analyst for this game; during this game’s crunch time, he keeps noting how the other Cardinal players were forgetting who had the hot hand at the moment–Chasson–and they repeatedly took poor shots themselves. Go figure!

    This time, the supporting cast seemed determined to contribute–but the only effective shooter in the final minutes was Randle…and they weren’t giving him the ball. Plus, in PAC-12 play, this was the worst inside defense by the Cardinal, and Wazzu outplayed Stanford under the basket defensively.

    WSU Coach Ernie Kent was quoted elsewhere as stating that his guys grew in that game. Unfortunately for Stanford, its guys seemed to regress–aside from Randle of course.

    When Stanford seemed to be verging on an early blowout, Coach Dawkins began inserting the top subs. As in the UW game, those backups were flat; their energy and focus was inadequate and the Cougars got traction against them. However, at UW, this reversal had happened in the middle of the 2nd half. This time, it happened in the middle of the first half. Against UW, Randle and Brown were sent back into the game to regain control…that worked. Against WSU, Brown had a flat game himself and Randle alone wasn’t quite enough this time. Wazzu earned that win; Stanford’s other players let the Cougars look good.