The Stanford Cardinal shook off the Houston Cougars after halftime Monday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, posting an 86-76 win to advance to the championship game of the Legends Classic.
Stanford (5-1) will play Pitt (5-0) in Tuesday night’s final. The Panthers crushed Texas Tech 76-53 in the first game Monday night.
The Cardinal began to pull away by hitting nine of their first 13 shots after intermission to open a 53-46 lead after the teams played to a 32-32 draw in the first half. Stanford did much of its damage inside in the second half and was 18-for-27 (66.7 percent) after the break.
Houston (5-1) went cold after the break, hitting only 12-of-32 (37.5 percent) in the second half. The Cougars led by as many as eight points in the first half before the Cardinal stormed back, closing the half on a 10-2 run to tie the game.
Stanford’s biggest lead came with 7:37 remaining, when a Dwight Powell jumper put the Cardinal up by 12 at 65-53.
Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown scored 20 points apiece for Stanford, while Stefan Nastic added 14 and Josh Huestis posted 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Aaron Bright chipped in with 11 points off the bench.
Chasson Randle, who came in leading the Cardinal with 21.8 points per game, was held to just eight on 3-of-9 shooting.
TaShawn Thomas notched game highs of 22 points, 14 rebounds and five steals for Houston and also blocked three shots. Danuel House finished with 15 points and L.J. Rose had 14 points and five assists.
Tip off for the championship game on Tuesday night is set for approximately 6:30 p.m. Pacific, after the completion of the Texas Tech-Houston consolation game at 4 p.m.