STANFORD, Calif.- Josh Huestis notched his sixth double-double of the year and became the leading shot-blocker in school history as Stanford coasted past USC 80-59 on Thursday night at Maples Pavilion.
In addition to scoring 11 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds, Huestis tallied three blocks to increase his career total to 169 and surpass the previous record of 167 established by Tim Young (1994-99).
Huestis’ totals led a defensive-minded Stanford effort, limiting USC to 36.2 percent shooting while forcing 18 turnovers.
Stanford (17-8, 8-5 Pac-12) converted just 28.6 percent in the first half before connecting on 52.9 percent over the final 20 minutes to put the game out of reach. Chasson Randle poured in a game-high 18 points (4-15 FG, 10-10 FT) while Dwight Powell added 14 points and Anthony Brown chipped in with 13.
The Cardinal built a 32-23 halftime lead, owned a 45-40 rebounding edge and committed only seven turnovers.
With leading scorer Byron Wesley suspended for the game, USC (10-16, 1-12 Pac-12) was led by Pe’Shon Howard’s 13 points.
Huestis set the tone early on, tying the school record when he blocked Strahinja Gavrilovic on the first shot attempt of the game.
Stanford broke open a one-possession game with a 12-6 scoring run to close out the final seven minutes of the first half.
Huestis’ record-breaking block came at the 18:08 mark of the second half, swatting away a layup attempt from Gavrilovic.
USC crept to within 34-29 three minutes into the second half before a layup from Randle gave Stanford its first double-digit advantage at 40-29 with 16:58 remaining.
Leading 51-42, Stanford embarked on a 17-5 scoring burst that resulted in a 21-point cushion following a dunk from Brown with 5:33 left to play.
Stanford concludes its homestand on Saturday, Feb. 22, against No. 23/25 UCLA at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.
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GENERAL NOTES: Stanford improved to 10-3 at home, reaching the 10-win mark at Maples Pavilion for the 21st consecutive season … For the seventh time this year, a Stanford player made at least 10 free throws in a game. Chasson Randle (10-10 tonight) and Dwight Powell have each accomplished the feat three times while Anthony Brown has done it once … Stanford has committed fewer than 10 turnovers in eight of the last 11 games … Josh Huestis' 18 rebounds were the most by a Stanford player since Matt Haryasz grabbed 20 against Oregon on Jan. 29, 2005 ... Stanford last swept the season series against USC in 2012 … The Cardinal is three games over .500 in conference play this late in the year for the first time since a 13-5 finish in 2008 … Stanford improved to 13-2 when leading at halftime … The Cardinal scored at least 70 points for the 17th game … Stanford received 17 points from its bench, including contributions from Robbie Lemons (six points, four rebounds) and Schuyler Rimmer (four points on 2-2 shooting in five minutes).
HUESTIS NOTES: All three of Huestis’ blocks came against Gavrilovic … Nine of Huestis’ 169 career blocks have come against USC spanning eight games … Huestis has done his damage in essentially three years, totaling 48 blocks this year after 71 as a junior and 43 as a sophomore. He blocked only seven shots as a freshman ... Only three players boast career marks of at least 500 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks: Huestis (888, 752, 169), Tim Young (1544, 1070, 167) and Howard Wright (1599, 860, 121) … At 6-7, Huestis is almost half a foot shorter than seven-footers Tim Young (167 – 2nd), Robin Lopez (156 - 3rd) and Curtis Borchardt (146 - 4th) ... Huestis has blocked at least four shots in a game on 10 occasions, including a career-high 10 rejections against Seattle on Nov. 28, 2012.
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Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
“It was an odd game. Dwight goes down, you don’t know the extent of his injury. And he ended up having three stitches, and he’s fine, but you just never know what’s going on when you see a pool of blood on the floor and a young man has been taken to the training room. Fortunately everything was good for him. I had a chance to see my guys win on the defensive end, because we didn’t play well offensively as far as shooting well, but we found a way, and it was through our defense, it was through our effort. That was something that you always want to know if you can win games that way, and our kids showed today they were capable of it, and I think that’s something that will give us a lot of confidence going down the stretch.”
“I think Josh has tremendous talent. I promise you I didn’t teach him that. It’s a gift that he has. He times balls very well. The thing that I’ve always admired about Josh’s ability to block shots is his ability to know when not to block them. A lot of times, guys have blocked shots where they’re just going and trying to get everything, and they get in foul trouble all the time because you’re constantly off your feet. He times people well, he picks his spots well and I think we all have been fortunate to watch him play here for four years, because that’s a remarkable record to break when you’re only 6-7. It says a lot about him.”
“I like that we had balanced scoring. We were top-heavy for a while with a few guys scoring a lot of points, mainly Chasson and sometimes Dwight. I like the balance that we have with Josh and Anthony and those guys all contributing. I think it makes us tougher to defend, tougher to scout, when you know all these guys are capable of being double-digit scorers.”
“I’m sure they missed Wesley a great deal. He’s their leading offensive scorer and probably one of their leaders as a junior. In my experience, and I’ve been through this several times, usually some guys rise to the occasion and step up because they’re given the opportunity to do so. So we try to prepare our guys as if, ‘Hey, whether he’s playing or he’s not playing, just understand they’re going to come out ready to compete.’ And they did. I thought they came out ready, they played until the final buzzer.”
“The record is exciting. First and foremost, the win, we got it against a good team. Their record doesn’t reflect how good they actually are. They come in and fight every game, so I’m real proud of our guys and the way we played tonight. As far as the blocks and rebounds go, I’m just happy because I get to make my mark on the Stanford record books, and I’m just proud of how hard I went on the boards tonight. It’s exhausting but the payoff is great, so it was worth it.”
“You know, at the end of the day we want to be a defensive team first, and the fact that we didn’t shoot very well was covered up by the fact that we did play defense really well tonight. There will be nights when shots aren’t falling and you can’t control it. I’m just proud that we went out there and defended, and as far as not making as many shots, I’m really proud — I can hang our hat on the shots that we took. There were good ones, and our guys can knock them down. It’s not going to be like that every night.”
“Coming out of halftime we were up, and then they started trying to hang around a little bit and started going on little runs. But at the end of the day, that’s when we’ve got to come together as a team and realize that we can’t let that happen. You can’t let that control how you perform on the offensive and defensive end. So we got our guys together, regrouped and like you saw, we just started pushing away and then didn’t look back after that.”
“I’m not sure why we started slow, to be honest. I think it could’ve been a matter of we just haven’t played at home in a while. But you can’t blame that on anything, we just have to keep playing basketball, and eventually the shots will start going well for us. And they did.”
“I think we were just aggressive. We got to the line a little bit and stayed in attack mode, not letting anybody get in our way. The balanced scoring was great. Whenever we can get four guys in double figures, I think we’ve got a great chance to win. And, of course, we defended well too.”
USC Head Coach Andy Enfield:
“We turned the ball over and took some ill-advised shots, that allowed them to get out in transition and score some easy buckets. We kept them in the 8-10 point range for quite a bit of the second half, but then they went on a big run and we had some other crucial turnovers and missed some easy shots. It's frustrating because we played pretty well for a while but you have to play for 40 minutes against a team like Stanford.”
“We gave up 18 offensive rebounds. Stanford is one of the bigger teams in the league and we're one of the smaller teams, especially in some of the key positions. They rebound in their areas extremely well and they know how to go and get the ball. They really showed that tonight.”
“Right now Byron Wesley is out for the weekend. You take your leading scorer and leading rebounder out of the game, it hurts. The other guys have opportunities to play more minutes. We need our big guys to get more aggressive, but the guards have to get the ball to them. Stanford did a good job of doubling Omar (Oraby) around the basket. We got him the ball only about six or seven times. Post play is a combination of the guards getting them the ball and the big guys posting up at the right time. We need to do a better job against Cal on Sunday and see Omar have a better game.”