Sports

Humphrey makes a big impression in Cardinal hoops win

 

Freshman Michael Humphrey stepped in and stood tall just when the Stanford men's basketball team needed him.

The 6-foot-9 freshman recorded season highs in points and rebounds and the Cardinal beat visiting California, 72-61, in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday.

Humphrey scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as senior Stefan Nastic struggled before fouling out.

"He was terrific," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "He came in focused and met the challenge. He showed what he could do and he's only going to get better."

Humphrey did most of his best work in the second half as Nastic was 1 of 6 from the field. Humphrey made his first seven shots and grabbed four offensive rebounds. He also blocked two shots.

"The only thing that was different was my minutes," Humphrey said. "I tried to keep the same effort and the same mindset. Our backs are against the wall and everybody had to step it up."

Stanford also received valuable contributions from seniors Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown. Randle scored 19 points and dished off a career-high eight assists. Brown also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

"Right now we need some wins, that's the main thing," Randle said. "We wanted to come out as aggressive as possible."

Freshman Reid Travis played his best game since returning from injury, scoring eight points on 4 of 7 shooting and grabbing six rebounds.

The Cardinal (8-6 Pac-12, 17-9 overall) are tied for fourth place in the conference standings with UCLA, though the Bruins hold the tie-breaker.

Stanford could significantly help itself Thursday when third-place Oregon (9-5, 19-8 entering Sunday's game against Utah) comes to town this weekend. The Cardinal hosts Oregon State at 8 p.m. Thursday before the Ducks arrive for a 4 p.m. game on Sunday.

Stanford has won six of the last eight meetings against California.

Stanford never trailed in the game, but was never comfortably ahead either. The Cardinal scored the final seven points of the first half, five by Brown, to open a 35-23 edge at halftime.

— Rick Eymer/Palo Alto Online Sports

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