Sports

Second-half outburst leads to convincing Pac-12 victory

 

Michael Humphrey, who started his fourth consecutive game, is playing because Rosco Allen continues to recover from an injury. The freshman forward seems willing to stay in the starting lineup for as long as he can.

Humphrey matched his season-high of 14 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds for his second straight double-double as the Stanford men's basketball team used a terrific second half to beat Oregon State, 75-48, Thursday night in a Pac-12 Conference contest.

The Cardinal (9-6 Pac-12, 18-9 overall) could go a long way in assuring itself a first-round bye in the upcoming conference tournament if it can pin another victory on the board Sunday when Oregon (11-5, 21-8) visits Maples Pavilion for a 4 p.m. game.

Humphrey, who has doubled his Pac-12 offensive production in the past two games, has helped make Stanford's run possible.

"I definitely feel more comfortable but I think it all starts with practice," Humphrey said. "Everyone is getting more comfortable with the way we're all playing in practice and it's translating to the game. We've had some really intense practices and that's what's helping us out."

Fellow freshman Reid Travis, who recently returned from his own injury, started the first 11 games at Humphrey's position before he was forced out of the lineup. Travis added nine points and four rebounds and has spent time on the court with Humphrey lately.

Chasson Randle added 15 points, surpassing Oregon State grad Gary Payton for sixth on the conference's all-time scoring list. He has 2,176 points, 161 shy of becoming Stanford's all-time scoring leader.

Anthony Brown had 13 points and eight rebounds and Marcus Allen scored 10 points to help the Cardinal overcome a shaky start and win for just the third time in its last seven games.

Stanford trailed most of the first half and was down by as much as nine before going on a 22-4 run early in the second half.

"The defense was good," Brown said. "In the first half, we started a little slow and gave up 30 points, but in the second half we picked up the intensity. The talk at halftime really gave us the push to pick up the intensity and play better in the second half."

Brown and Humphrey combined for 11 points during Stanford's game-changing rally.

Humphrey's work on the glass has been pivotal. With 26 rebounds the past two games, he surpassed his total of the previous nine games combined.

"I've seen a young man really start to blossom," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "That's always fun to watch. I still think there's so much potential in him."

After struggling to find any consistency with its offense in the first half, the Cardinal were decidedly more aggressive in the second half.

Randle repeatedly drove the lane and kept Oregon State's defense on its heels while Humphrey's work inside the paint helped Stanford control the boards.

"That's one of the best second halves our team has played this season," Dawkins said. "Our guys made some adjustments and were able to find some openings where they were able to get some looks."

The Beavers used a 15-3 run, which included a 9-0 stretch, during the early going to forge a 28-19 advantage.

The Cardinal proved gracious hosts, at least for a while, by missing 11 consecutive shots -- including five layups -- and turned the ball over four times, going seven minutes, 46 seconds without a basket before making a late run.

Marcus Allen's 3-pointer with one second left in the half pulled Stanford within 30-28.

Brown, Elliott Bullock, Wade Morgan, Stefan Nastic, Randle and Jack Ryan will be honored before the Oregon contest as part of Senior Night.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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