Rosco Allen's game face never changes. He always appears sullenly whether he's been shut out or goes off for a career high. You're not going to be get him to admit any kind of emotions either. All he does is play basketball.
"It's hard to tell if anyone is going to have a strong shooting night like he had but one thing I do know is when we can get him good looks he's one of the best shooters in the conference and probably in the country. And we were able to do that," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "He got freed up and came off his actions very well, got his feet set and when he can do that I believe he can shoot better than everyone."
Allen enjoyed a game as close to perfection as one can expect. He matched his career-high with 25 points in leading the Cardinal to a 76-72 upset over visiting No. 11 Oregon in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday.
Allen shot with confidence from every point of the court, and drove the basket hard. He scored his points by making four of five 3-pointers and going 9-of-12 from the field, easily his best percentage.
"He came out extremely focused," Stanford sophomore Dorian Pickens said of Allen. "You could see it in early shooting. He helped set the tone and we felt we needed to match that intensity."
Pickens scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half and Grant Verhoeven finished with a career-high 13 for the Cardinal, who improved to 2-2 against ranked opponents.
Stanford hopes to bottle Saturday's effort and take it to Pullman, where the Cardinal play Washington State on Thursday.
"We have to understand how to win on the road," Dawkins said. "We still have a lot to play for."
As good as Allen was offensively, that was as active a zone defense the Cardinal produced in keeping the Ducks intact.
"We challenged some of our older players," Dawkins said. "I thought Grant was instrumental in that zone. He was big in the middle and our wings were active with guys like Michael Humphrey and Rosco Allen. So it was definitely very active and it was long."
Humphrey's block with five seconds remaining to play saved the day for Stanford. Holding onto a 74-72 edge, Oregon's Dillion Brooks found his way in the paint when Humphrey stuffed his shot.
"That was a huge play for us," Rosco Allen said. "Brooks is a great driver and got into the paint. Mike saved us and blocked it with two hands to keep it in play and we were able to hang onto it."
Brooks sank a pair of free throws with 51 seconds remaining to play and the Ducks had three opportunities to grab the lead in the final 31 seconds.
Marcus Allen hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left to clinch it.
Cook hit a layup with 18:24 remaining to play to bring the Ducks within 34-33. The Cardinal followed with a 9-0 run, punctuated by a 3-pointer from Allen to push the lead to 43-33 at the first media timeout.
"Both teams started off hot, but Stanford got the momentum and kept it," Oregon's Jordan Bell said.
Stanford was ahead 67-56 with just under 5 minutes to play when Brooks hit a 3-pointer and Oregon called time out to set up its press.
The Ducks forced two turnovers and Dwayne Benjamin turned a steal into a layup to make it 69-65 with 3:17 left.
It was still a four-point game when Pickens hit one of two free throws before Brooks hit a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 1:23 remaining.