Cardinal soar over Eagles at new season high

Stanford men’s basketball (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12) scored a season-high 95 points in its victory against Eastern Washington (0-4, 0-0 Big Sky) Friday evening, after a Tuesday loss to Santa Clara (5-0, 0-0 WCC). Despite two key players — senior forward Brandon Angel and fifth-year forward Spencer Jones — sitting out due to hand and wrist injuries, the Cardinal upheld a strong front.

“The guys that are coming in off the bench, we have a great deal of confidence in,” said head coach Jerod Haase about the new lineup and sub pattern with Angel and Jones out. “We don’t want them to be passive and just fill in for a couple minutes while the other guys are out. We want them to be aggressive, and we know that they’re good players.”

The first half started with an early lead for Eastern Washington. Stanford’s defense struggled, allowing the Eagles to go six-for-nine from the arc within the first 11 minutes of the game. The Cardinal offense was quick to respond, with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Ryan Agarwal initiating a 16-0 run. Notably featured was a dunk from graduate forward James Keefe, as well as threes from sophomore guard Benny Gealer and graduate guard Jared Bynum. Stanford went seven-for-10 from deep in the remaining nine minutes of the period. 

Stanford’s guards continued to dominate from the perimeter as the clock ran down. One three from Gealer and graduate student Michael Jones each, sandwiched between two from freshman Andrej Stojakovic, gave the Cardinal a strong lead heading into halftime: 47-35.

“It’s been amazing ever since the start of the summer, having all those guys that have played so many college games that have been here for a couple years and picking their brains every day,” Stojakovic said.

Stanford amped its offense up even more in the second half — shooting 59.26% FG and 50% at the three-point line. Maples erupted in cheers for Stojakovic’s dunk, and threes from a number of players kept the Cardinal fans on their feet. A great assist by Bynum set up junior forward Maxime Raynaud for a dunk, pushing Stanford to a 20-point lead. 

The last minute of the game featured action from less frequently seen players: redshirt freshman forward Jaylen Thompson and graduate guard Roy Yuan. Thompson made a layup with just 16 seconds on the clock, and Yuan followed with a buzzer beater from deep. The Cardinal came out on top with a final score of 95-70. 

The Cardinal roster showcased their talent against Eastern Washington. Even without its central players, the team executed its highest scoring win since 2019, with four players contributing double-digit scores. Stojakovic led the team, matching his 18-point career high. Next in line was Michael Jones with 15 points, followed by Raynaud with 14 points. Gealer scored a career-high of 13 points, going four-for-five from deep. 

Bynum matched his season-high of 10 assists, and Keefe saw a career-high of 12 rebounds.

“A key part of our identity that we’re trying to build as a team is that it doesn’t matter how the game looks,” Keefe said. “It doesn’t matter what the crowd is in Maples. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is — we’re trying to bring the same level of intensity in the fight every night. And I think we did that tonight.”

Stanford is set to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas this Thanksgiving break, with a first round match against No. 14 Arkansas on Wednesday.