How the Stanford Cardinal Crushed No. 10 Oregon

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re waking up and looking at your mobile score app on your phone, you’re not mistaken–the Stanford Cardinal crushed the No. 10 Oregon Ducks last night in Palo Alto, 76-52. It was Stanford’s first win over a top-10 team since 2008.

The Cardinal relegated the Pac-12‘s best team to merely a spectator in the victory, Stanford’s second straight blowout win.

Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins said it was one of his best moments since he became coach in 2008.

Taking a cue from their football team (which handed Oregon it’s only Pac 12 loss this season), the men’s basketball squad used a suffocating defense and simply outplayed the Ducks to get the win. Even if Oregon standout freshman Dominic Artis, a Bay Area native, was healthy enough to play, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Stanford forced 20 turnovers, nine steals, held Oregon’s high-flying offense to just 22 points in the first half, outshot them 52 percent to 35 percent and held their two leading scorers, E.J. Singler and Damyean Dotson, to six and seven points, respectively. A complete effort on defense for a team that has now given up only 54 points per game over the last two–both wins.

Stanford outscored the Ducks 21-4 on points off turnovers.

Dawkins has used his inner Duke Blue Devil to get Stanford to really focus on the defensive end of the floor. He just needs them to be a little more steady on D. In their four Pac-12 wins, Stanford is allowing just 58.5 points per game but are letting up 69.8 in their four losses.

The goal was simple–strike first and deliver the first punch. They needed to, as Oregon was riding a 9-game winning streak into last night’s game.

Strike first they did. Stanford used an early 18-2 run to take control just seven-plus minutes into the game thanks to some sharp shooting from the outside. The hot shooting continued throughout the game as Stanford wound up 8-of-14 from three, a whopping 57%. They held Oregon to just 4-of-16 from deep.

Chasson Randle paced the Cardinal offense with 17 points while forwards Dwight Powell (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Josh Huestis (14 points, 13 rebounds)

Can Stanford use this win as a turning point in their season, one dominated by such inconsistent play? If they can give the same effort they gave last night in the upcoming weeks, it’s fair to say they’ll turn the corner and continue to make noise in the Pac-12.

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