Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Rapid Reax: Stanford 82, Oklahoma State 67
By Kieran Darcy, ESPN New York
NEW YORK -- A quick take on Stanford's 82-67 victory over Oklahoma State in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals at Madison Square Garden:
What it means: Stanford improves to 5-0 on the season, and advances to the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game. Johnny Dawkins' squad is the lone remaining undefeated team in the Pac-12. Oklahoma State, playing its first men's basketball game since the tragic deaths of women's head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna in a plane crash last week, dropped to 3-1.
The skinny: If you like offense, you'd have loved the first half of this game. Both the Cardinal and the Cowboys were throwing the ball in the bucket at high frequency. There were six ties in the first 20 minutes, the last being at 29. After that, Stanford closed on a 17-6 run, capped off by an Anthony Brown trey at the buzzer for a 46-35 lead at the break.
Stanford opened the second half on a 12-0 run, opening up a 58-35 lead, and never looked back. The Cardinal really picked it up on the defensive end, limiting the Cowboys to just 2 points over the first eight minutes after intermission. Stanford led by as many as 28, and won going away.
Shooting stars: Six-foot-eight senior forward Josh Owens was perfect in the first half for Stanford -- 8-for-8 from the floor, 1-for-1 from the foul line, 17 points. He finished with a game-high 21. Sophomore guard Aaron Bright had 15 -- 13 of them coming in the first half. Freshman guard Chasson Randle added 17, all of them coming in the second half. Highly touted freshman Le'Bryan Nash scored 16 points to lead Oklahoma State.
On target: Stanford's shooting numbers were good across the board. As a team, 47.5 percent from the field (29-for-61), 47.4 percent from 3-point range (9-for-19) and 71.4 percent from the foul line (15-for-21). Stanford also outrebounded Oklahoma State 40-29, including an 11-5 advantage on the offensive glass. One bright spot for the Cowboys was their 12 blocked shots.
What's next: Stanford will play No. 5 Syracuse in Friday's championship game. Oklahoma State will play Virginia Tech in the consolation game.