CORVALLIS, Ore. - The numbers were mind-boggling - 171 field goal attempts, including 48 three-point tries, 14 ties, 13 lead changes, 108 rebounds and a total length of game of three hours and eight minutes - in the end Stanford outlasted Oregon State 103-101 in four overtimes in one of the most memorable games in the 63-year history of Gill Coliseum.
It was the first quadruple-overtime game in Oregon State history, as two other games had gone to three extra frames, and was the Beavers' highest point total in a conference game since a 101-91 double-overtime victory over Oregon on Feb. 12, 1994.
"Well, that was one to remember, even though we didn't win," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "I couldn't be happier with my team. I thought they fought hard. Tonight they realized that they can play with anybody in the country."
The Beavers nearly won the game at the buzzer in the fourth extra period, but Roberto Nelson's three-point shot bounced out and Stanford (13-3, 3-1 in Pac-12) went home earning a split on its trip to the Pacific Northwest. The Beavers (11-5, 1-3) also earned a split over the weekend after defeating California last Thursday.
"Well the play worked", Robinson said of his team's final 2.5 seconds of the fourth extra stanza. "It is just a lot to ask a kid to make a play like that at the end of a game. Even down to the last second, they executed what they should have executed, and the ball just didn't go in. It was a really good look too."
Stanford had opportunities to win the game in regulation, but a tip-in basket by Dwight Powell came split seconds after the final horn sounded. The Cardinal's Anthony Brown missed a long three at the buzzer at the end of the first overtime and then Chasson Randle failed to convert a jumper at the end of the second overtime. The Beavers' Ahmad Starks missed a game-winning jumper at the horn in the third overtime, setting up the wild final extra five minutes in which Stanford scored the first five points and then held on in the frenetic finish.
"They were exhausted, but both teams were," Robinson said of his team's mood after the game. "Stanford did a terrific job and they made a few more game winning plays than we did. It was very exhausting to watch. This was a player's game. All I was doing was making subs and giving them suggestions on what to do, and these guys just went out and laid it all out there."
Jared Cunningham, who played a game-high 54 minutes, and Nelson led OSU with 19 points. Devon Collier came off the bench to notch his second career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Moreland tied a single-game school record with six blocked shots and Joe Burton tied his career-high with 18 points. The Beavers also blocked 11 shots overall to set a single-game team school record.
"I think that what can help the team is, if you look at how they could have easily been out of this game, and they didn't let that happen," Robinson said on the benefits of the game. "You never know if things like that will help you in the future, but I believe they do. I try to get that across to those guys. This isn't the time to point out every single mistake because that wouldn't do us any good. It was really impressive that after the mistakes we made, that we kept fighting and kept fighting. I am really proud of them."
A crowd of 7,239 watched the Beavers start the game in great fashion, building a 32-17 lead on a Nelson layup at the six-minute mark of the first half; Nelson had two three-pointers early in the game after losing a shoe in a sequence on the court. Stanford was able to chip away at the lead and was down only two at 34-32 at 2:53 before OSU pushed the lead back to seven at halftime at 43-36. A Collier three-point play at 15:30 of the second half pushed OSU back to a 55-43 advantage, but the Cardinal used some timely three-point shooting, making six of nine in the second half, to forge a lead of as many as three points. Starks made two free throws with 1:20 left in regulation to tie the game and neither team could score in the final seconds.
The Beavers play in Tucson this Thursday against the Arizona Wildcats at 5:30 p.m. and travel to Arizona State Saturday for another 5:30 p.m. game. Both contests are live on Root Sports Northwest.
"There are a lot of games left to be played," Robinson said looking ahead to the rest of the season. "In my opinion we can compete with all of them. That gives me some comfort, but we have work to do. You have to execute. This team I would go to war with. I will back these guys no matter what they want to do because they work so hard."