Belmont Hands Stanford Its First Loss


Nov 18, 2012; Palo Alto, CA, USA; Belmont Bruins guard Craig Bradshaw (23) dribbles the ball up the court next to Stanford Cardinal guard Christian Sanders (1) during the second half at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Four players scored in double-digits for the Belmont as the Bruins handed the Stanford Cardinal their first loss of the season, 70-62.

The Cardinal shot a dismal 31 percent from the field and were 2-19 on three-point attempts. As a matter of fact, they missed their first 12 shots from beyond the arc.

“[The Bruins] showed their experience and poise,” Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “They made shots when they needed to make them. It’s tough when you shoot 31 percent.”

Belmont led 33-25 at the end of the first half, gradually building an advantage over the course of 20 minutes.

That lead would jump to 14 as the Bruins came out of the gate firing on all cylinders in the second half. Ian Clark hit two 3-pointers, the second of which put Belmont up 41-27.

But Stanford would battle back, as they went on a 22-7 run over the next nine minutes to take a 49-48 lead at the halfway point of the final frame. Christian Sanders made their first three-pointer of the night during that span to cut the lead to six, and Andy Brown’s two free throws gave Stanford the lead.

However, fatigued seemed to settle in to the Cardinal, who had spent a ton of energy making the comeback and did not have enough left in the tank for the home stretch.

Clark scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half, and his three with 5:34 remaining put the Bruins in the lead, a lead that they would never relinquish.

Turnovers and missed shots filled the stat sheet for Stanford as they tried to make a final push, but they just had nothing left in the tank and suffered their first loss of the young season at the hands of the Belmont Bruins.

“I am sure proud of our young men,” said Bruins’ head coach Rick Byrd. “They had the momentum and the crowd on their side, we were in foul trouble — to come back from that and take control of the game, it says a lot about the character, guts and heart in our team.”

Sanders and center Stefan Nastic led the Cardinal with 11 points apiece. Josh Huestis had four points with 14 rebounds, and Chasson Randle chipped in 10 points.

Randle and fellow co-captain Aaron Bright really struggled offensively, as they combined to shoot 2-21 and 0-9 from three-point range.

“We have not shot the ball well and that’s somewhat of a surprise for all of us,” Dawkins said. “Everybody has to stay confident and keep believing. It will come together.”

This loss snaps an eight-game win streak for Stanford, dating back to last season.