As we head towards the holidays, that means only one thing for Pac-12 basketball...it's heating up. Well, at least it will soon enough. Wednesday night was more of a tune up for the three squads involved, although one game was closer than anticipated.
Stanford 67, Loyola Marymount 58: The Lion vs. the tree. At halftime, the animals were all over Mother Nature's favorite university, as 3-5 Loyola Marymount was leading Stanford 31-27. With names like Simon Krajcovic and Ayodeji Egbeyemi in their starting backcourt, the Lions didn't sound, or really look, like a team capable of coming into Palo Alto and knocking off the Cardinal.
Eventually, Stanford's defensive superiority took over. They forced LMU into 17 turnovers, and limited them to just six offensive rebounds. Then there was Chasson Randle. Going for a season-high 31 points, Randle scored 20 in the second half alone. He'd knock down 10 of the 12 attempts he'd have from the free throw line, along with generating five steals (more than the entire LMU team) en route to Stanford's sixth victory of the season.
#16 Washington 86, Grambling State 38: If you took Grambling State with the +36 last evening, I'm sorry for you in so many ways. First off, you more than likely have some kind of gambling addiction, and secondly, you actually stuck around for all 40 minutes of this game when it was actually over eight minutes in when the Huskies led 17-3.
The Tigers from Grambling would shoot just 14-for-60 (23.3%) from the field, leaving the majority of their scoring to senior forward A'Torri Shine, who led the way with 12 points. He'd be the only Tiger to reach double figures.
For the Huskies, it was stat-stuffing time. Twelve different players would see the court, four of which scored in double figures. Leading the way was the massive interior combination of Shawn Kemp Jr., who had 21 points and four rebounds, while shooting 9-for-12 from the field, and Robert Upshaw, who obliterated everything in his path en route to a 15-point, 15-rebound, four-block game.
On Saturday, Washington will get some stiff competition as they lock up with the #15 Oklahoma Sooners at the MGM Grand Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Oregon 79, Cal-State Northridge 56: Through the opening 10 minutes, the Matadors were in control of the contest. Unfortunately for them, the Oregon Ducks dominated the final 30.
Fourteen different players would see time on the court for the Ducks, who eventually pulled comfortably away with a win in tow. Dillon Brooks (12 points and six rebounds) and Joseph Young (18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists) would lead the way as the Ducks' attack was unrelenting.
Off the bench, in just seven minutes, Michael Chandler would score 13 points. After not having played all season long, Chandler proved to be a welcome addition to a team that could absolutely use his 6'10", 240-pound frame on the interior.