TOTANA, Spain-Chasson Randle's 16-point effort represented the highest-scoring game by a Stanford player to date during its 11-day foreign tour, however CB Murcia benefited from a rugged style of play that resulted in a 79-57 victory for the hosts.
The contest more closely resembled a postseason game, with a hostile home crowd clearly energizing CB Murcia, an up-and-coming program that was recently elevated to ACB League status. Wednesday's matchup was highly-anticipated by the local community, and the start of tipoff was slightly delayed following extended team introductions and the playing of both national anthems.
Randle finished with 6-9 from two-point range, dished out three assists and knocked down Stanford's only three-pointer of the night. Josh Owens also finished in double-figures, adding 14 points on 4-9 shooting while making 6-7 attempts from the charity stripe.
The physical nature of the contest provided an edge to CB Murcia, which finished 18-23 from the foul line compared to Stanford's 14-18 mark. CB Murcia was also extremely accurate from long distance, making 11 three-pointers.
Stanford scored six of the game's first eight points, moving in front 6-2 at the 5:26 mark after Owens fed Powell for a dunk. However, CB Murcia answered with a 9-0 run and ended up closing out the period with a 19-10 lead.
Midway through the second period, CB Murcia banged home a three-pointer to beat the shot clock, taking its largest lead of the game at 27-14. A short jumper from Aaron Bright and sleek baseline layup from Huestis temporarily sliced the deficit back to single-digits at 27-18.
Randle would score Stanford's final six points of the half, but CB Murcia had already built a 38-24 lead at intermission.
CB Murcia took control of the contest in the third stanza, outscoring Stanford 24-19 to take a 62-43 advantage into the final frame. CB Murcia knocked down three triples and made six of seven free throw attempts during the 10-minute stretch.
The Cardinal came out strong during the first four minutes of the final period, creeping to within 64-50 after Randle converted a three-point play and Owens knocked down a pair of free throws.
A successful three-point heave at the game's final horn pushed CB Murcia's lead over the 20-point mark, making it 79-57.
Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball Johnny Dawkins used the lineup of Bright, Jarrett Mann, Powell, Owens and Jack Trotter to open the first two periods. The third period starting five was Randle, Brown, Powell, Owens and Trotter. The fourth period starting combination was Bright, Randle, Brown, Owens and Stefan Nastic.
"I thought it was a chance for our guys to play in a physical game. I thought they fought and competed well through the physicality. We grew through this experience and type of game. We will face opponents like that, so it's important to embrace it and play that way. I thought we started to respond in the second half to the level of aggression that was out there."
"I thought Chasson did a really good job for us. He handled the ball with poise and also finished in traffic and through contact. He's growing up. You're going to have ups and downs being a young player. Watching the last three games, I can see him getting better and better, and also conditioned to playing this style of basketball."
"We have to learn how to make key plays when we need to. We're still learning a lot about who we are and what we have. These games give us an opportunity to find ourselves and a chance to do it against first-class competition. We're playing against men, and they are forcing us to play at our best every possession."
CB Murcia head coach Luis Guil
"Your team is made up of younger players. And for that, I was really surprised, because you guys created a lot of tactical situations for me. It was surprising because even though your team is younger, there was a good job of switching screens and showing the pick and roll. There was a game plan. Our team was visibly in pain, because this was very physical for both teams. I think we were the stronger team obviously and perhaps more accustomed to such physical play."
"I liked your point guard, the number five (Chasson Randle). He looked able to play one on one, can read situations and appeared to be a good, physical player. He can defend you, and also read situations from his position like the pick and roll. I very much liked this player."
Wednesday served as a travel day, as the team checked out of the Madrid hotel and spent the next six hours driving to the University of Murcia.
Upon arrival, the entire travel party was greeted by University President Jose Luis Mendoza and ushered to the school church along with students and representatives from the university, where everyone listened to motivational addresses from Mendoza and Dawkins.
Afterward, the entire group enjoyed a pregame meal and exchanged gifts: Cardinal basketball polos and t-shirts in exchange for goodie bags with polos, hats, postcards and other souvenirs from the University of Murcia. Loud cheers could be heard midway through the lunch, as University of Murcia staff members watched Spain defeat Germany in the second round of group play at the European Basketball Championship.
Recently promoted to the ACB League, CB Murcia is the first European professional team made up of students attending the university. The University of Murcia is associated with Stanford University, in that the Communication departments of both schools work in conjunction on several projects. Additionally, there is an opportunity for Stanford students to study abroad at the school.
Currently, the University of Murcia is developing an iPhone application for Stanford, which will provide information on the Center for Declarative Democracy.