Two Pac-12 bottom feeders meet up Thursday night when Stanford battles Oregon State at Corvallis, Ore.
The Cardinal (12-17, 6-12 Pac-12) are in 10th place in the 12-team conference while the Beavers (10-19, 4-14) are 11th.
Stanford is hoping to build momentum after Sunday’s solid 81-69 home victory over Washington. The victory was just the second in the past seven games for the Cardinal.
Point guard Michael O’Connell was especially good against the Huskies by recording a career-best 12 assists.
“Guys were making shots,” O’Connell said afterward. “I think I was trying to get downhill and push the pace a little bit and get it to our shooters and we have phenomenal shooters on the team. … And they were knocking down shots (Sunday) and I think that’s how we should be playing all year.”
Leading scorer Spencer Jones (13.3 points per game) was also on the mark against Washington. He scored 21 points — his fourth game of at least 20 this season — and made four 3-pointers during a contest in which Stanford knocked down 12 of 24 attempts from long range.
“I don’t know if in four years if I’ve ever told him, ‘That was a bad shot,'” Cardinal coach Jerod Haase said of Jones. “And I want him to have confidence and feel like he has the green light because generally speaking, when he gets a lot of shots up, we tend to do well.”
Jones also made four 3-pointers when he scored 18 points in Stanford’s 67-46 home win over Oregon State on Jan. 19.
The Beavers have dropped three straight games and 13 of their past 16 but the last setback was particularly painful.
Oregon State held a three-point lead over rival Oregon with 1:05 to play on Saturday but the Ducks’ Rivaldo Soares, who was scoreless through 39 minutes, hit a tying 3-pointer and later buried the winning jumper with 0.7 seconds remaining to hand the host Beavers another loss.
“They made a couple more plays than we did in the last couple minutes, but proud of the effort,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
Dexter Akanno led the Beavers with 17 points. Leading scorer Jordan Pope (12.5 ppg) had just eight on 2-of-8 shooting.
Despite the heartbreaking conclusion, Tinkle was pleased with the way his club played the game.
“I think the guys finally bought into playing with more pace and tempo,” Tinkle said. “… We don’t want to walk it up and get to the end of the shot clock. We did a good job on the fastbreak of going and scoring. We played with more urgency.”
The teams have split the past six meetings after Stanford won 40 of the previous 51.
–Field Level Media