The No. 11 Oregon Ducks lost their second straight road game of the week Saturday, falling 76-72 against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion.
Rosco Allen's strong night was a big reason for the Stanford victory, per NCAA March Madness:
UPSET!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2016
Rosco Allen ties career-high with 25 as Stanford hands No. 11 Oregon its second straight loss, 76-72. pic.twitter.com/ScsU7v7kVH
He was on fire all night, connecting on nine of 12 shots while grabbing seven rebounds. His free throw with 31.7 seconds left broke a 72-72 tie and eventually was the difference-maker.
However, it wasn't in the bag until Michael Humphrey blocked Dillon Brooks on his way to the hoop to tie the game with three seconds remaining.
Allen, who came into the game averaging 15 points, hit four shots from three-point land but also showed he can take it strong to the rim, per Stanford Men's Hoops:
While Allen and Dorian Pickens (16 points) led the way, it was center Josh Sharma making the most of his two points, per Pac-12 Networks:
Allen's free throws with three minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the first half gave the Cardinal a 25-24 lead, and they would never trail again. Oregon did eventually tie the game, but on the way it seemed Stanford answered every run with a big play, like this one from Allen, per Stanford Men's Hoops:
The Ducks were flying high early on with this alley-oop from Brooks to Jordan Bell that forced a Stanford timeout, per Pac-12 Athletics:
Brooks' team-high 24 points were not enough to keep Oregon from ending up on the losing end. It was a tough week for the Ducks, who started it 9-2 in conference play and in first place in the Pac-12. Now they've created a log jam, as the top eight teams are within two games in the loss column.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports noted how Oregon's play of late has made the Pac-12 a tight race:
Routed at Cal and on the verge of a bad loss at Stanford, Oregon seems determined to throw the Pac-12 race back into chaos.— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) February 13, 2016
Jeff Goodman of ESPN remarked that it hasn't been a good week for Oregon:
Oregon loses its second straight. Got blown out by Cal and loses a close one at Stanford. Rough Bay Area trip for Ducks.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 13, 2016
It's no shame losing on the road in conference play, but Stanford has been struggling this season, and the win pushed it barely over .500 at 12-11. The Ducks' NCAA tournament seed could certainly be affected by a loss like this. On the other hand, this win may come in handy for the Cardinal when it comes to qualifying for the NIT.
Christian Sanders finished the game with a career-high 10 assists for Stanford, while Grant Verhoeven chipped in with 13 points.
Tyler Dorsey contributed 14 points for the Ducks in the losing effort.
Stanford Men’s Hoops shared a few moments of head coach Johnny Dawkins’ postgame locker-room speech where he applauded his team for the effort put forth:
While it was a great win for Stanford, the loss hurts Oregon considering it could not pull away from the rest of the Pac-12 field. Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com mentioned the Ducks’ recent struggles benefit the Arizona Wildcats, who have won the conference the past two years:
Stanford upsets Oregon in Palo Alto. Ducks go 0-2 this week in the Bay Area. The door remains open for Arizona to win the Pac-12 -- AGAIN.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 13, 2016
On a much lighter note than conference standings, the Cardinals pulled off a pretty big upset in the eyes of college basketball fans who play ESPN the Streak:
Stanford knocks off #11 Oregon. And on #Streak, 99.1% of the picks were on the Ducks, including a W25, W24, W23, 3 W21's and 4 W20's.— ESPN Streak (@ESPNStreak) February 13, 2016
The good news for Oregon is the Ducks now return home for three straight games against the Oregon State Beavers, Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies—all games that should be a “W” in the win column.
If so, they will stay atop the Pac-12 standings and make a good run at their first conference regular-season title since 2001-02 season.