A few more stops. A couple more free throws. A few less gambles.
Always right there. Never enough. This is all too familiar territory for the Beavers.
The eight point loss doesn't reflect the effort though; the Beavers were so much better than that today.
They should have won this game.
Looking ahead, I have no idea what Coach Robinson can say to make it better for his guys. How can they not be frustrated? With so much talent, so many wins within grasp, I'd want to punch a hole through the wall after this one.
Where did it go wrong?
Offensively, the Beavers had little trouble. They came out early and took control, executing smoothly and getting what they wanted. But mid-way through the first half, that offense stalled and the Beaver defense couldn't salvage the momentum.
We've been here before.
After an 8-0 OSU run in the first ten minutes, including an 18-foot jumper by Ahmad Starks, Stanford fought their way back into the game, up 21-17 with 8:23 to go in the half. The Beaver's perimeter defense had collapsed, allowing back-to-back threes by Rosco Allen and a triple for Chasson Randle (who would go 4-6 from beyond the arc).
Heading into the half, Oregon finished strong, playing better defense and finding ways for Roberto Nelson to score; with 1:25 to go, Nelson hit a triple, then scored five more. It was a two point game heading into the half, 35-33 Stanford.
In the second half, the Beavers were hot on the heels of the Cardinal and seemed to have a handle on their defense. Sort of. Stanford's John Gage was, after all, wide open and nailing threes at every turn.
If there was one moment where Beaver fans jumped out of their seats and traded high-fives in confidence, it came with 11:39 to play: Gage stole the ball from Starks and headed to the basket. Moreland with a HUGE swat! He and Starks got the ball back fast down court to Nelson for the finish and they took their first lead since the 12:13 mark of the first half, up 53-51.
But the spark wasn't big enough for success.
From there, Stanford continued to light it up from the outside, hitting three-pointers on four straight possessions. The Beavers stayed close until the last minute.
Again, a nail biter becomes heart break in the final thirty seconds.
Eric Moreland marked his 47th block, now holding the sophomore record all by himself. His effort off the bench was outstanding today, with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists.
Joe Burton proved invaluable in yet another lead performance, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists
Stanford's Josh Huestis lead with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Chasson Randle had 20 points and five assists.