MEMPHIS- Stanford’s deepest NCAA Tournament run in six years came to an end on Thursday night, falling to Dayton 82-72 in the Sweet 16.
Despite four players scoring in double figures and a game-high 21 points from Chasson Randle, Stanford was unable to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit.
Stanford concluded its season at 23-13 overall following an impressive postseason run. Despite losing two starters and two key reserves to season-ending injuries, the Cardinal reached the 20-win plateau for the 22nd time in school history and third during head coach Johnny Dawkins’ six-year tenure. Stanford, which played 19 of its 36 games against NCAA Tournament teams, notched a 5-2 record against top-25 opponents and finished third at 10-8 in the highly-competitive Pac-12.
Randle experienced an off-night from the field, making just 5-21 overall and 3-11 from long distance but was 8-11 from the charity stripe. Dwight Powell chipped in with 17 points (6-9 FG, 5-7 FT) and fell one rebound shy of his eighth double-double.
Strong outings from Stefan Nastic (15 points, 5-7 FG, 5-7 FT) and Josh Huestis (13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) allowed Stanford to take command of the post. The Cardinal was at its best when working the ball inside against the undersized Flyers.
Fueled by two of its best defensive performances against No. 7 seed New Mexico and No. 2 seed Kansas in the earlier rounds, Stanford was unable to hold Dayton in check. The Flyers shot 48.3 percent overall, dished out 19 assists on 28 baskets and connected on 8-23 from three-point territory.
Stanford shot 37.9 percent overall but struggled from beyond the arc, making just 5-21. The Cardinal remained within striking distance thanks to a 23-33 performance from the foul line, led by Randle’s 8-11 clip.
Dayton received a considerable boost from its bench, with its reserves producing 34 points as 11 different players saw court time. Conversely, two free throws from John Gage accounted for Stanford’s only scoring from the non-starters.
As a result, Stanford was plagued by foul trouble. Nastic exited the game with five fouls at the 5:04 mark of the second half while Powell and Huestis were each whistled for four.
A tip-in from Huestis at the 9:51 mark of the first half gave Stanford its final lead of the contest at 19-18.
Dayton responded with a 16-4 scoring run, moving in front 34-23 with 5:42 left in the first quarter and eventually building a 42-32 advantage at intermission.
Stanford trimmed the deficit to four points twice early in the second half, creeping within 49-45 following a pair of free throws from Nastic at the 14:37 mark.
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NOTES: Stanford is 38-22 all-time in the postseason and 23-16 overall in 17 NCAA Tournament appearances ... Tonight was the first meeting between Stanford and Dayton ... Stanford reached the Sweet 16 in 2008, with victories over Cornell and Marquette. The Cardinal also advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2001, 1998, 1997 and captured the NCAA championship in 1942 ... Stanford was operating as a No. 10 seed for the second time in school history ... Chasson Randle recorded his 16th 20-point game of the season and 26th of his career. Randle climbed into fifth place on the all-time school scoring list with 1,651 points, passing Dion Cross (1,635) ... Dwight Powell (136) and Josh Huestis (135) finished as the top two players all-time in Stanford history in career games played ... Stefan Nastic finished 5-7 from the field and ended the year shooting 27-31 (87.0 percent) over his last seven games ... Josh Huestis tallied four blocks, increasing his career school-leading total to 190 ... Stanford received less than 10 points from its bench in 21 games this year ... Tonight’s game represented the final contest for seniors John Gage, Huestis, Robbie Lemons and Powell ... Head coach Johnny Dawkins was issued his first technical foul since Feb. 23, 2013 at Oregon ... Among those in attendance supporting the Cardinal were Josh Childress, Condoleezza Rice, David Shaw and Richard Sherman.