Feb. 3, 2013
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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Josh Huestis has been Stanford's most dependable player all year and that doesn't take into account his offensive production. He's such a presence on defense that any scoring is a bonus.
Huestis hit a key basket among his 16 points and then made a key block in the final minute as Stanford held off Oregon State 81-73 Sunday.
"I'll take the blocked shot over scoring because it does so much for the team," Huestis said. "It helps us defensively by stopping them from scoring and gives us another opportunity to go on offense. Defense is a huge part of our game."
Chasson Randle scored 20 points for the Cardinal (14-8, 5-4 Pac-12), which has won three in a row and five of its last seven. Dwight Powell added 14 points and John Gage scored 12.
Huestis, who also had 13 rebounds, blocked a shot by Devon Collier in the final minute that helped Stanford stop the Beavers, who were within two points at the time. Powell was fouled on the play and sank both free throws as the Cardinal made all eight of its foul shots down the stretch.
"Josh is like an eraser," Randle said. "Anything to the basket I count on him taking it out. He's been a key for us."
Joe Burton had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers (12-10, 1-8 Pac-12). Roberto Nelson scored 20 points and Ahmad Starks scored 15.
"They were picked to be very good at the very beginning of the season and they're living up to it now, that's all," Beavers' coach Craig Robinson said. "They have very good players. Powell is probably a pro, and I'm not sure Randle's not a pro, either. That kid is good. Then the rest of their pieces fit. Whenever you can shoot like that, it doesn't matter how well you play, you have an advantage."
Starks hit a jumper to even the score at 51 with just under 13 minutes to play. The lead changed hands 10 times the rest of the way.
Powell hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Stanford a 71-66 edge with 3:21 left. The Cardinal recorded a season-high 14 3-pointers.
"We had to make shots," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Throw records out the window, that's a good team. It shows you where our conference is with so much parity."
There are seven teams, Stanford included, within two games of first place as the Pac-12 reached its halfway point.
The Beavers have only lost one game by more than 10 points all season, and have lost their previous four by a combined 15 points.
"Our guys made plays," Robinson said. "It's disappointing but I feel like our guys are making progress."
Nelson scored the final six points of the first half, drawing Oregon State to within 35-33 at the intermission.
The Beavers raced to an 8-0 lead to open the game, taking advantage of Stanford's early shooting woes.
Randle helped get the Cardinal going, scoring six points during a 14-0 run that eventually gave Stanford a 26-17 edge.
- by Rick Eymer, Associated Press
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NOTES: Stanford finished 14-25 from three-point territory, representing its best total since a 15-33 performance at Arizona back on March 7, 2009 ... Josh Huestis notched his fourth double-double, recording 16 points (5-7 FG, 5-6 FT) and 13 rebounds in 33 minutes. Huestis is now averaging 9.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game ... Chasson Randle (20 points on 6-11 shooting) because the first Cardinal player to reach the 20-point plateau since Aaron Bright finished with 21 against Washington State on Jan. 9 ... In three career games against Oregon State, Chasson Randle has scored 68 points ... John Gage chipped in with 12 points off the bench. Gage, who is the Pac-12's leading three-point shooter at 48.3 percent, was 3-6 from beyond the arc ... Stanford entered the game shooting 73.8 percent from the foul line, but made only 15-22 on Sunday. However, the Cardinal knocked down their freebies at the most critical juncture (8-8 in the final minute) ... Stanford dished out 19 assists on 26 buckets, with Bright contributing six handouts and Randle five ... Four Stanford starters played exactly 33 minutes ... Oregon State held a 38-28 edge in the rebounding department and owned a 38-16 advantage in points in the paint ... Stanford is 62-20 at home under head coach Johnny Dawkins.
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Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
"I'd just like to say we beat a good team tonight. Throw their records out the window, their team is good and they're capable of winning, capable of beating anyone in our conference. I think that says a lot about our conference as a whole, because there's so much parity from top to bottom, and I'm really proud of my guys because this is the type of game where they're playing at a high level. We had to play at a high level to match that to be successful tonight. I thought Josh in the second half gave us a lift late. I thought Dwight stepped up late and gave us a lift as well. And like I said, just the overall effort was there, the energy was there and we beat a good basketball team tonight."
"I'm really proud of Josh and his overall development. He's a young man who works as hard as anybody on the team on his game, and it's shown in the results. You hate to see a guy who works that hard and it doesn't really pan out. In Josh's case, he's been steady, he's been one of my most dependable players all year long, and that's even without making shots, because he provides the presence on the defensive end with the blocked shots, the rebounding. Josh knows our defensive schemes well, so he's a young man that I'm really happy to see do well and hope he'll continue to grow and develop."
"Today we had to make shots. Usually we hang our hat on the defensive end, and I can't say we had a great defensive game, in large part because they're a very good team and they made us look this way defensively. But fortunately, they shot the ball very well and that's something that we talked about earlier and our kids have really done a good job of staying the course, believing in themselves, believing in each other. They fought their way out of it and shot the ball well."
"Well, it's good to go on the road having just won a game, that's for sure. For us, we're just taking them one at a time. It's all about getting better for us, like we talked about earlier, and we have a big test in Arizona. I didn't get to see them play because I've been just watching our opponents, but I'm looking forward to watching them over the next few days as we prepare."
Junior forward Josh Huestis
"You know, the whole game we had kind of been up and down in terms of aggressiveness and how hard we were playing. And then when it came down to the wire, we fell behind and guys picked it up. That's a sign of our maturity. They're a really good team and they almost knocked us off tonight. We knew what we had to bring to the table at that point of the game, and everybody brought it, everybody was aggressive, played hard. It worked out."
"I'm a big fan of blocking shots, you know, because it does so much. It's something that helps on defense, and defense is always the biggest part of the game. It stops them from scoring, gives us the ball back and helps us get another chance to score, so I feel that brings more to the table."
"It's huge that we only had four turnovers tonight. I'm pretty sure all four were in the first half. We really took care of the ball and in a close game like this, that's huge. Our guards were able to take care of it, everybody was moving the ball well. I think we had 19 assists tonight, which is huge. That really helped us, and that's the type of basketball we should play every night, team basketball. That helps us get wins like tonight."
"It's nice to have this momentum going right now, but we are not even close to done with this season. We've got a lot of games to play, and where we sit right now means nothing. We've got to go into every single game like our backs are up against the wall. We've got to go out and fight every single game, no matter who we're playing, because in this conference, like you said, we're real close. Anybody can beat anybody, as you've seen lately."
"Our guys are stepping up, knocking down big shots. I mean, Dwight knocked down two threes tonight, didn't he? That's huge. At the beginning of the year, people were talking about how we weren't making outside shots, things like that, but I was never worried about it because we've got great shooters. Everybody takes their shots when they're open, and as you see, we're finally getting them to fall for us. It's just going to keep getting better from here on out."
Sophomore guard Chasson Randle
"Really, I think it was just toughness. We wanted to pull it out at the end of the game and the tougher team won. They're a great team, did a great job of being physical and fighting us all night long. We just have to keep battling and prepare for the next game."
"Definitely, I think that's what's been key for us these last three games: everybody has been stepping up and playing their role. Guys are just refusing to lose out there, and if we keep that mentality, I think the sky is the limit for us."
"Man, Josh is like an eraser up there. Anything that gets up to the basket, I'm counting on him to take it out, and most of the time he does. And then he's rebounding like heck out there, so he does a great job for us, like all of our big men. So I'm very proud of them tonight."
"We came in with the goal of winning the Pac-12, and early on it might not have felt that way and it might not have looked that way, but I think guys have really stepped up and put it in their minds that we're going to be tough and fight this out. That's what we're in the process of doing right now."
Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson
"Stanford is a good team. They were picked to be very good at the very beginning of the season and they're living up to it now, that's all. They have very good players. Powell is probably a pro, and I'm not sure Randle's not a pro, either. That kid is good. Then the rest of their pieces fit. Whenever you can shoot like that, it doesn't matter how well you play, you have an advantage."
"It was a great game, but in situations like that with the score close, this is where the little stuff comes in. You've got to make your free throws. We had three foul shots, missed those, then had two fouls shots, missed one. Those little things, they keep it close and make it harder for the opponent to make shots. That's the little stuff we need to work on."
"Our guys made plays. This wasn't your normal one where we make a couple mistakes down near the end. Stanford came down and made shot after shot. You have a guy trapped in the corner (Aaron Bright) who throws a baseball pass to a guy in the other corner (Dwight Powell) who makes it (a three-pointer). Fourteen of 25 from threes. It's disappointing but I feel like our guys are making progress."