Stanford's 71-69 road loss to USC in the Cardinal's Pac-12 opener on Thursday was a game Stanford guard Chasson Randle would like to forget.
Randle, a sophomore, went scoreless for the first time in his Stanford career. He also committed a foul with seven seconds left that led to Jio Fontan's two free throws to put the Trojans (6-8) ahead. Randle then missed a rushed jumper in the closing seconds.
Dwight Powell got an offensive rebound on Randle's miss with three seconds left, but it wasn't Powell's night either. He missed the follow shot to finish off a game in which he went 5-for-15 and scored 11 points.
In fact, with Stanford's top two scorers, Randle and Powell, combining to go 5-for-21 from the field and score just 11 points, it's hard to imagine how the Cardinal (9-5) had a chance to win. The Cardinal even held a nine-point lead at halftime.
The reason Stanford was in the game was its bench. Stanford got 45 of its 69 points from its non-starters, led by Andy Brown, who hit 7 of 9 shots, including going 3-for-4 on three-pointers. The last of his game-high and career-high 17 points came when he hit a jumper with 31 seconds left to tie the game. However, he missed the foul shot after being fouled on that play, and that proved decisive as Randle committed the foul on USC's ensuing possession.
Randle came into the game averaging 13.8 points, and had a habit of coming up big in critical situations. He had scored at least eight points in every game this season, but he has struggled with his shot.
After going 0-for-6 from the field Thursday, including a miss on his only three-point attempt, Randle is now shooting just 36.3 percent from the field and 21.9 percent on three-pointers for the season. This was unexpected after his freshman season, when Randle shot 43.9 percent from the field and hit 43.8 percent on threes.
It is Stanford's inability to score from the perimeter that has been a problem for the Cardinal this season. Stanford did well enough from long range Thursday, hitting 9 of 19 three-pointers against the Trojans, but Stanford was just 14-for-40 (35 percent) on two-point shots.
John Gage came off the Cardinal bench to hit two three-pointers and score eight points. Aaron Bright added 12 points off the bench.
Stanford remains in Los Angeles for Saturday's game against UCLA, which beat Cal in its opener on Thursday.