Da Silva grabs spotlight in win over Sun Devils
This season, Stanford has mainly been “The KZ Show,” as head coach Jerod Haase put it Saturday.
KZ Okpala is the second leading scorer in the Pac-12, and the Cardinal have depended on his excellence. Point guard Daejon Davis has frequently come through as well.
For the other players, it hasn’t happened often. But Oscar da Silva was “awesome” on Saturday, Haase said, in helping Stanford to a convincing 85-71 win over Arizona State at Maples Pavilion.
Da Silva had 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
“I found my flow offensively early,” the 6-foot-9 sophomore from Germany said. “My teammates kept finding me. I got a lot of open shots. That gives you confidence throughout the game.”
Haase said, “If we’re going to be a big-time team, he has to be one of the pieces that plays at a high level.”
It was the Cardinal’s first Pac-12 win after three losses. Haase and Okpala agreed it was their best performance on the season.
“This last month has been really good in terms of practice,” Haase said. “It hasn’t carried over into games very often. But today I thought it did. It started with our competitive spirit, which was really good.”
The Cardinal (8-8 overall) went on a 12-0 run to start the second half and take a 52-38 lead. The Cardinal’s edge eventually reached 73-54 with under five minutes left.
“We’ve been in games where it’s close at halftime, and we came out soft” in the second half, said Okpala, who had 21 points and nine rebounds. “We came out and executed.”
The win boosted the Cardinal’s confidence, he said. “We’re ready now. We know we can beat anybody.”
The Sun Devils (11-5, 2-2) got 16 points from Canadian freshman guard Luguentz Dort (who hit three 3-pointers in a 61-second span in the first half ), 13 from Rob Edwards and 10 from Kimani Lawrence.
ASU didn’t help itself with a 6-for-17 showing from the foul line. “On the road, you can’t play that way,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said.
Stanford is the most turnover-prone team in the conference. This time it had just three in the first half and 14 for the game.
Davis had four of them, but he also had 13 points and nine assists. He had one of the big defensive plays of the game, rushing back to block a layup by Remy Martin with Stanford up by five midway through the second half.
“We feed off his energy,” Haase said. “When he’s really good and energetic and locked in and playing well, we tend to do pretty well.”
Haase provided energy of his own when he responded to a 3-pointer by reserve guard Isaac White by giving him an enthusiastic chest bump during a timeout.
“I was hoping to knock him back past halfcourt,” Haase joked.
One down note for Stanford was that guard Cormac Ryan left the game after drawing a charge from Dort. It was Dort’s fourth foul, and he had to go to the bench five minutes into the second half. Ryan has had a series of ankle injuries; there was no immediate word on his status.
Stanford forward Oscar da Silva, a sophomore from Germany, dunks against Arizona State forward Kimani Lawrence.