Rosco Allen turned a bitter struggle into a sweet victory Saturday night. Just for good measure, oft-injured Grant Verhoeven turned in his best game in a Stanford uniform, which included his first career 3-pointer.
Allen scored 24 points, including the game-winning basket with 3.2 seconds remaining, and the Cardinal survived another tough Pac-12 Conference contest, beating visiting Arizona State, 75-73, on Saturday night.
Allen scored four points on 1-of-12 shooting in Stanford's loss to Arizona on Thursday night.
"Arizona was a struggle," Allen said. "I'm just happy we got this win."
Allen responded with his first collegiate game-winning shot and was 8-of-14 from the field.
"Our strategy was first to get it to Marcus," Allen said. "We were in the same situation against Arkansas and we drew up the same play. They did a good job denying Marcus so I flashed back to the ball, looked at the clock, and knew I had enough time to get it all the way to the rim."
The play worked just the way it was drawn up.
"We run that play almost every week," Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It started on the defensive end when we got the stop. They took away Marcus and Rosco did what he was supposed to do."
Stanford (11-7, 4-3 Pac-12) plays seven of its final 11 regular-season games on the road, including a three-game span that starts Wednesday night at Colorado.
"The next few weeks are going to be huge for us," Allen said. "We have to be road warriors and go out and try to steal a few road wins."
Verhoeven, whose nine points was a career high, has been working on his 3-point shot ever since he got to Stanford. The senior's playing time has been affected by a series of injuries but he's encouraged by his recent run of success.
"For one thing, I'm finally getting healthy," he said. "Still not there completely, but I've been really struggling with injuries the last couple of years, so being healthy really helps out a lot. And also, just with our new offensive style where we set a lot of ball screens where I can either roll or pop helps out and plays to my advantage."
Marcus Allen added 13 points as the Cardinal beat the Sun Devils a fifth straight time at home. Michael Humphrey had 11.
"We didn't do a great job of keeping Allen in front, but that was a regular occurrence throughout the course of the game," Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said. "He made big plays driving the basketball for them. It was a great drive."
The Cardinal led most of the way, but Arizona State kept it close and took its first lead with 1:38 remaining to play.
The teams traded baskets and Dorian Pickens hit 1 of 2 foul shots to tie the game at 73 with 35.8 seconds to go.
Stanford made four of its first five 3-pointers and then made 1 of 12 over the next 25 minutes before Verhoven and Allen hit consecutive 3-pointers in the final six minutes to open a 64-54 lead.
"We have to have that cutthroat mentality," Verhoeven said. "When we get ahead, we have to hold the lead. We gave up a lot of 3s, we let them have some easy buckets that we shouldn't have. As a team going forward, we need to work on that and not let them back in the game."
Stanford had an 11-point lead midway through the first half, though the Sun Devils used an 11-2 run to pull within 32-31 with just over four minutes left in the half.
The Cardinal scored the final four points to take a 40-34 advantage into halftime.