Card Downs Liberty, Advances to Diamond Head Championship
HONOLULU – Advancing to the championship game at the Diamond Head Classic, Stanford posted its second-straight win by three points, besting Liberty 79-76. The Cardinal improves to 8-4 on the season with the victory.
Spencer Jones led the way with a career-high 25 points, going 8-for-11 from the field with five 3-pointers, while Brandon Angel was one point shy of his career best with 17. Harrison Ingram was also in double figures with 13 points, along with seven rebounds, while Michael O'Connell matched his career best with eight assists.
Stanford shot 12-for-20 from 3-point range as a team, which matches the program's best mark under head coach Jerod Haase (min. 20 attempts). Six different players connected from beyond the arc.
The Cardinal fell behind by 13 points in the first half, 28-15, but responded with a 21-8 run to end the half tied at 36-36. O'Connell scored from beyond half court at the buzzer in the opening frame.
Leading for a majority of the second half, Stanford took the lead for good with 6:53 to play after a triple from Jones. Each time Liberty threatened to close the gap, the Cardinal was able to respond. The Flames' Darius McGhee finished with 41 points, tying the tournament record and becoming just the second player to score 40 or more against Stanford since 1995.
The Cardinal will face the victor of Vanderbilt and BYU in the championship game, set to air on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. PT.