The good news is the Zags pulled themselves off the floor, dug in defensively, and got back into the game, closing to two at one point.
The bad news is Stanford has been a second-half team recently. Just ask UCLA. The Cardinal trailed by as many as 17 in the first half last Sunday, then just destroyed the Bruins after halftime.
For the Zags to pull this one out, they’ll have to find a way to contain Lawrence Hill. The best defense GU had in the first half on Hill was to take the offense right at him – why Micah Downs didn’t take it to the hoop while Hill was on him with two fouls, I’ll never know – drawing fouls and forcing him to the bench.
Because they never stopped him on the defensive end. The sophomore hit all six shots he took, including two 3-pointers, and finished the half with 14 points despite playing only 10 minutes.
With the always moving Hill out, the zone worked better and the defensive rebounding was easier.
Hill will be back to start the half. How the first five minutes goes might decide this one.