Clutch When it Counts
March 22, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
STANFORD SPORTS RELEASE
ST. LOUIS- Chasson Randle poured in a team-high 23 points, pacing Stanford to a 58-53 victory over No. 17/17 New Mexico on Friday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since a run to the Sweet 16 in 2008, the Cardinal (22-12, 10-8 Pac-12) led for all but two minutes of the contest.
Despite an off night from Dwight Powell (three points, 0-8 FG), Stanford received timely production off the bench from John Gage (three points, six rebounds) and Robbie Lemons (two free throws with 23 seconds remaining).
Tabbed by many as one of the tournament’s most underseeded teams, New Mexico (27-7, 15-3 Mountain West) led for only 24 seconds and was limited to 36.5 percent shooting. The Lobos were just 4-21 from long distance but remained within striking distance thanks to a game-high 24 points (10-18 FG, eight rebounds) from Cameron Bairstow.
Stanford owned a 37-35 advantage on the glass in what could only be described as a total team effort. Brown grabbed a team-best seven boards, followed by Gage (6), Nastic (5), Randle (5), Huestis (4) and Powell (4).
The Cardinal connected on eight of its first 10 shots and scored 17 straight points, including six from Randle, for a 20-4 lead with 13:23 to go in the first half.
New Mexico went 6:26 between points and more than seven minutes between baskets before gaining its footing. The Lobos kept feeding it to Bairstow and ended the half on an 8-0 run that cut the deficit to 32-27.
A layup from Cullen Neal finally brought New Mexico even at 45-45 with 10:07 remaining in the second half.
Stanford increased its lead to seven points twice over the next eight minutes, moving in front 54-47 after a pair of free throws from Randle.
After two free throws from Alex Kirk trimmed the deficit to 54-52, Lemons was fouled and delivered on his two free throws.
Stanford will face No. 10/10 Kansas on Sunday in the third round with the tip time to be determined.
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NOTES: Stanford improved to 22-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, collecting its first win since an 82-81 overtime victory over Marquette in 2008 … Stanford improved to 4-2 against top-25 competition this year, having also defeated No. 10/10 Connecticut, No. 17/13 Oregon and No. 23/25 UCLA … The Cardinal is 3-1 all-time against New Mexico … Stanford is operating as a No. 10 seed for the second time in school history … Of Stanford’s 34 games to date, 17 have come against NCAA Tournament teams … Stanford improved to 9-3 in games following a loss … Anthony Brown (1,001) and Josh Huestis (1,000) both reached the 1,000-point mark for their careers … Chasson Randle has scored at least 20 points in five of the last six games … One week after being held without a free throw attempt for the first time this season, Chasson Randle was 6-6 from the charity stripe … Prior to today’s game, Robbie Lemons was juts 7-12 from the foul line all year … Stefan Nastic made his first three shots of the game, extending his streak to 16 straight field goals before missing his final attempt of the first half … Stanford has received less than 10 points from its bench in 19 games this year … The Cardinal held its opponent to under 60 for the 10th time this year … Josh Huestis totaled three blocks, increasing his all-time leading total to 184 … Stanford is now 18-2 when leading at halftime.