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Brown's Double-Double Sparks 76-65 Win Over Cleveland State
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/14/2012

March 13, 2012

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

STANFORD, Calif.- Josh Owens didn't change his approach to shooting. He just had better results Tuesday night.

Owens scored 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting in helping Stanford beat Cleveland State 76-65 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

"The shots just happened to go in tonight," said Owens, who was a combined 8 for 25 over his previous four games. "It was nice to get out of that slump."

Aaron Bright scored all 17 of his points in the second half and Anthony Brown had 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for the Cardinal (22-11), which will next play the winner of Wednesday night's game between Mississippi and Illinois State.

"Josh has had a tough couple of weeks," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It was good to see him bounce back like that."

The Cardinal is one of four teams from the Pac-12 in the NIT. Oregon and regular season champion Washington also won Tuesday and Arizona plays Wednesday. Stanford finished seventh, two games behind the Wildcats.

"The team was excited to play," Brown said. "The consensus among the team was we weren't going to the NCAA and the NIT is the next best thing. Having a home game was very nice."

Jeremy Montgomery scored 15 points to lead the Vikings (22-11), who lost seven of their last nine games. Tim Kamczyc added 13 points.

Cleveland State played most of the second half without leading-scorer Trey Harmon, who left the game with a sprained right knee with over 17 minutes left to play.

"It hurts to lose Trey," Vikings' coach Gary Waters said. "But you can't take anything away from Stanford. They made all the right plays."

The Vikings held a 23-8 advantage in rebounding at one point and finished with a 44-32 advantage, but also turned the ball over 21 times.

"In the first half, we turned the ball over 10 times and that led to 11 points for them," Waters said. "I thought we had a good chance to win going into the second half but we turned the ball over on our first five possessions, which led to three baskets for them -- 29 points off turnovers for Stanford. That's the game right there. That's something we've struggled with all year."

The Cardinal led by as many as 20 points in the second half.

Randle hit a 3-pointer in the waning moments of the first half to give Stanford a 31-30 edge heading into intermission.

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Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
Opening Statement...
"We beat a good team. We beat a team that's had a terrific season. I was proud of our guys. I thought we had to really do a good job to close the half. I thought they made a good run on us, and we were able to hold on to the first half with the lead. The second half, I thought our guys came out and played really, really well."

On Cleveland State's 44-32 rebounding advantage...
"They did a great job, and give them a lot of credit. Their effort and energy was there. I thought they were just very quick to balls. Balls were going up, and I thought our guys were in good position a number of times. They were just quicker to the balls than we were tonight, and they made a lot of plays, especially in the first half."

On guarding Cleveland State...
"We wanted to stay in their faces. We think their perimeter is terrific. They have three guys that are all veterans and are capable of making plays with the basketball. They shoot the three well. We wanted to make sure we stayed up on them, tried to take away the three, and tried to harass as much as possible when they tried to bring big guys around to maybe shadow a double. We tried to keep them busy as opposed to looking at the basket."

On Anthony Brown's second career double-double...
"I'm really proud of Anthony. We think he can be a terrific rebounder, and he showed it again tonight that he's capable. He really stepped up. We needed those rebounds, he went in there and fought for them, made a couple of plays for us. Also offensively, I thought he made a big shot in the second half when we needed a run. He stepped up and hit a three for us. I think he had one of the best games he's had here at Stanford tonight."

On Aaron Bright's team-leading 17 points...
"I was happy to see Aaron really step up. He made a lot of great plays for us, and it was great because at halftime he took ownership. He came up to me and said, `Coach, I've got you this half,' meaning that I'm going to go out there and I'm going to change the outcome of what I was doing in the first half. And he did. He went out there and made a lot of plays for us, not just scoring the basketball but with leadership, running our team, finding guys for easy baskets, and he made us better."

On Josh Owens' 15-point performance to come out of a slump...
"He's had a tough couple of weeks, and it was good to see him bounce back tonight. I was really just happy for him. I'm glad we had another game to be able to play, because I'm sure he didn't want to go out the way he did the last performance. So this was good for Josh, and hopefully he can continue to build on it."

Sophomore Anthony Brown
On getting 12 of Stanford's 32 boards...
"They had a rebounding advantage today, and I just wanted to help out the team, especially from the guard position I can just run in there, I don't need to get boxed out. So I was just trying to take advantage of opportunities."

On playing in the Postseason NIT... "The team is excited. I think the consensus was that we knew we weren't going to get into the NCAA Tournament, so obviously the NIT would be the next best, and to get a home game right off the bat was real nice for us."

Senior Josh Owens
On preparing for this game...
"It was a quick turnaround coming off the Pac-12 Tournament, so we really just tried to watch as much video as possible, knowing that they have a lot of guards and they get up the floor pretty quick. So trying to stop them in transition was big."

On Cleveland State's 44-32 rebounding advantage...
"We just weren't closing out possessions. We were able to hold down their shooting percentage, but grabbing those rebounds that we weren't able to get, they beat us to some plays that we should've gotten."

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Head Coach Gary Waters
Opening Statement...
"We didn't perform as well as we should have tonight. Normally we're one of the better road teams, but we didn't show it this time. They were very strong offensively, so I tip my hat to Stanford."

General thoughts on the game...
"In the first half, we turned the ball over 10 times and that led to 11 points for them. We stayed pretty even with them in the first half, and I thought we had a good chance to win going into the second half. But we turned the ball over on our first five possessions, which led to three baskets for them. Let's see (looking at the stat sheet): 29 points off turnovers for Stanford. That's the game right there. That's something we've struggled with all year."



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