MADRID-Facing what figured to be one of its toughest opponents during the trip, Stanford nearly matched Real Madrid for three quarters on Tuesday night before the 30-time Spanish League and eight-time Euroleague champion finally shook off the Cardinal.
Receiving a game-high 32 points from former Utah State standout Jaycee Carroll, Real Madrid withstood a gutty effort by Stanford and held a 25-12 scoring edge over the fourth quarter to earn a 98-78 victory.
After scoring just 47 points in a scrimmage against Asefa Estudiantes on Monday, Stanford bounced back with 45 points in the first half alone against ACB League powerhouse Real Madrid 24 hours later. A jumper from Andrew Zimmermann (Stanford's leading scorer with 14 points) at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter made it a one-possession game. Leading 73-66 to start the fourth, Real Madrid used its hot shooting touch (23-24 free throws, seven three-pointers on the night) to secure the win.
Zimmermann finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, scoring all of his points during a 10-minute stretch that bridged the second and third quarters. Robbie Lemons added 10 points, knocking down both of his three-point attempts and grabbing three rebounds. Josh Owens also added 10 points (3-7 FG, 4-4 free throws) to go along with a team-high six rebounds.
Stanford also managed to cash in at the free-throw line, making 23-26 tries for a percentage of 88.4.
Real Madrid owned a 28-19 advantage after the first quarter, reaching its largest lead of the quarter after a pair of free throws made it 25-11 with 3:09 left to play.
After Stefan Nastic scored the first four points of the second quarter to bring the Cardinal within 28-23, Stanford remained hot and pieced together an 11-4 scoring run to take a 34-32 lead after a long two-point jumper from Lemons.
The teams alternated buckets up until halftime, with Real Madrid scoring four of the last six points in the second quarter to hold a 47-45 lead at the break. The Cardinal won the second quarter by a 26-19 margin.
Real Madrid stretched its lead to 57-51 with 7:38 left in the third quarter, only to have John Gage drill a three-pointer and bring the Cardinal within 57-54. Real Madrid countered with another triple to make it 60-54, but two free throws from Powell and a jumper from Zimmermann trimmed the deficit to 60-58 at the the midway point of the third period.
The fourth quarter belonged to the hosts, with Stanford getting as close as 75-66 early in the quarter.
All 12 available players scored for Stanford, with several grabbing the spotlight with impressive offensive sequences. Powell and Owens treated the crowd to some highlight-reel slams, Nastic opened the second period with a series of nifty post moves to both sides while consistently drawing contact in the post and Lemons displayed his sharp-shooting touch with a pair of timely jumpers in the second period.
Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball Johnny Dawkins used a lineup of Bright, Lemons, Owens, Josh Huestis and Nastic to open the first two periods. The starting five for the third quarter was Chasson Randle, Brown, Powell, Gage and Zimmermann. Dawkins then used a combination of Randle, Mann, Brown, Powell and Zimmermann to open the fourth.
Ten players received at least 14 minutes of playing time, as Dawkins continued to employ a five-for-five substitution pattern throughout the game.
Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso was among those who came away impressed with Stanford, praising the Cardinal for remaining competitive against a squad made up of seasoned professionals:
"First off, I want to say this was a very good preseason game for us. We have some youngsters on our team, so I thought it was beneficial to play against a team like Stanford, that looked organized, played well together and moved the ball really well.
"Their posts were passing the ball very well around, and that made it very difficult for us to adjust on defense. We really tried to put a lot of pressure on them, but they were still able to move the ball around.
"This was a close game. We scored a lot of points at the end, but for us this is our preseason and perhaps they are just getting into shape. Maybe the game was too long for them, but I think they did a great job. I talked to Coach Dawkins, and told him it was a great preseason game for us and for them, to be able to play against a different level of opponent and different way to play basketball."
Stanford began its final day in Madrid with a visit to the famed Museo del Prado in the morning, where the travel party took a guided tour of the most famous works of art in the museum.
The museum houses an extensive collection of European art that spans several centuries and is based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. After posing outside the museum for what is sure to be one of many team photos taken during the trip, some players visited the expansive gardens of the nearby Buen Retiro Park while others returned to the hotel to rest before the pregame meal.