Marcus Allen scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the second half and the Stanford men's basketball team advanced in the Postseason NIT with a 77-64 victory over visiting UC Davis on Tuesday.
The Cardinal (20-13) hosts Rhode Island in a second-round game on Sunday (6:30 p.m.), which will be televised on ESPNU. The Rams (23-9) beat Iona, 88-75, to advance.
Allen, who made 10 of his 12 shots, scored the first seven points of the second half to help the second-seeded Cardinal pull away from a stubborn Aggies squad, playing in their first-ever Division I postseason of any kind.
"I was ready to play from the start," Allen said. "The main emphasis when we came out of the locker room in the second half was just to come out with more energy and to get out and run more in transition."
Reid Travis recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Chasson Randle added 18 points and Anthony Brown had 11.
The victory helped ease the pain of missing the NCAA tournament after a slump over the previous 12 games in which the Cardinal went 4-8.
"I'm just really happy the way our guys were able to respond against a team that's been very, very hot," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "For our guys to bounce back from a tough loss and play the way we played -- I'm just really proud of their character. I thought they really stepped up and showed how much they want to be in this tournament and how much they want to compete."
Seventh-seeded UC Davis, the Big West Conference regular-season champion, made things rough on Stanford for a good part of the contest. Corey Hawkins scored a season-best 34 points to make sure the Aggies were within striking distance most of the way.
Hawkins is the son of former NBA standout Hersey Hawkins, who was in the stands watching his son.
Allen's scoring spree gave Stanford an eight-point bulge. The Aggies were never closer than six the rest of the way.
Randle, who has scored in double figures in each of his past 26 games, and 32 of 33 overall, has 2,275 career points, 44 behind Adam Keefe for second all-time and 61 behind school scoring leader Todd Lichti.
Allen reached double figures for the first time since scoring 14, his previous best, in a close loss to Oregon. He's scored in double figures six times in his past 14 games after not having done so in his first 51 games.
"He's finishing the ball very well now, which is something he's gotten better and better as the years have progressed," Dawkins said. "He's a weapon; he's a capable three-point shooter so you can't just leave him out there. And that sets up his ability to drive and he's a strong driver."
Brown's layup with 13:34 remaining to play put the Cardinal ahead, 53-42, and Stanford maintained a double-digit edge the rest of the way, leading by as many as 17 at one pont.
Stanford also had a 12-point lead with 7:26 left in the first half but watched the Aggies run off 11 straight points within a 15-3 run to even the game at 30.
The Cardinal eventually carved a 37-36 halftime advantage.