Unselfish play and efficient shooting from the field send the Stanford Cardinal to Madison Square Garden as they dominate the Nevada Wolfpack, 84-56. They are the final team to punch their ticket into the NIT Final Four and the second team representing the Pac-12. Stanford advances to the NIT semifinals since winning the championship in 1991.
Six players on the Cardinal scored eight or more points, led by forward-center Josh Owens and guard Chasson Randle with 15 points. The team shot 53.4 percent from the field and went an outstanding 8-14 from the perimeter.
Forward Andrew Zimmerman had a great night overall, hitting well above his averages with eight points, six rebounds, and four assists. Normally, Zimmerman usually averages 4.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.6 assists a game.
Nevada guard Malik Story relied on his three-point shooting throughout the night, but finished at a disappointing 3-9. He finished with 14 points. Forward Olek Czyz was quiet in the first half, but tried to give his team a spark early in the second half by driving the ball inside and helping his team rebounding. He finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Stanford started to pull away in the middle of the first half by spreading out the ball. As a team, they shot 65 percent from the field and six players scored at least six points. Their efficiency from the three point line and dominating the glass sent the Wolfpack into a scoring drought in the last six minutes of the half. Story, who was Nevada’s scoring leader at nine points at the half, nailed his third three-pointer to end the drought right before intermission.
The Wolfpack was able to get the point differential to 15 points early in the second half when Stanford finally started missing some shots, but the Cardinal would turn the jets right back on. At about the 10 minute mark, Nevada began turning the ball over and it started looking like the first half pull-away all over again. Stanford went on an impressive 20-2 run to finish off the blowout and get their biggest lead at 81-49.
Stanford will head to New York City next week and play Massachusetts on Tuesday night. The game will be at 4:00pm PT and televised on ESPN2. A stream will also be available on ESPN3.
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