| 11-18-2023 07:17 AM PT
Photo by Stanford Athletics
Stanford went on a 17-0 first half run to erase a 12 point deficit and never looked back, en route to a commanding 95-70 win over Eastern Washington.
Coming off a loss to Santa Clara and missing Brandon Angel, Spencer Jones, and Kanaan Carlyle, the Cardinal were facing adversity. That compounded when they fell into an early 12 point hole to Eastern Washington off a hot start by the Eagles. But the short-handed Stanford team continued to compete.
"One of the things we talk about as a team is the difference between playing hard and competing," said James Keefe. "Competing is when you lose yourself in the game, start getting 50-50 balls, getting those deflections."
The Cardinal buckled down on defense, forcing five turnovers in seven possessions and taking advantage on the offensive end. After missing their first five three-point attempts, Stanford quickly hit three in a row, ultimately going on an extended 27-4 run to take a double digit lead into halftime. They held Eastern Washington to only 4 points in the paint, and worked on limiting second chance points. The experience of the team shows in the little things, like the way Jared Bynum controls the pace or how Michael Jones legally stalled inbounding to let a would-be Eastern Washington two-for-one turn into Stanford getting the last shot.
Out of the locker room Stanford continued to expand the lead, punctuated by a vicious slam dunk from freshman Andrej Stojakovic. They put the Eagles in their rearview mirror for good on the back of a 9-0 run in the middle of the period to seize a 72-50 lead.
Stanford was forced to move two reserves into the starting lineup, and still got 33 points from their bench. They were able to try some different lineups, like Benny Gealer and Jared Bynum together, as well as extended minutes with both James Keefe and Maxime Raynaud on the court.
"The bench was huge," said Jerod Haase. "The guys that are coming off the bench we have a great deal of confidence in, and we want them to play their tails off."
As a team the Cardinal shot 55% from the field and 48% from three. They were +11 on the boards and +22 in paint scoring. They dominated just about every facet of the game when it was all said and done.
Andrej Stojakovic led five Stanford scorers in double figures with 18 points on 7-12 shooting, matching his output against Santa Clara. Benny Gealer scored a career-high 13 points on 4 three pointers. Michael Jones added 15 points on just 7 shots, while Maxime Raynaud scored all 14 of his points after halftime. Jared Bynum scored 11 points and continued his elite playmaking with 9 more assists. James Keefe led all rebounders with 12.
"We make plays for each other," said Andrej. "Every night it's going to be different guy. It's amazing what can be accomplished when no one gets the credit."
All ten players who saw action finished in the scoring column, including the first career points from Jaylen Thompson and Roy Yuan, the latter whose deep three at the horn provided the perfect cap to a scoring frenzy.
--Stanford Men's Hoops National Champs '42 '91 '12 '15
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