CORVALLIS — Josh Huestis started off slow Thursday night, admittedly forcing shots that didn’t fall.
But the Stanford junior forward wasn’t worried. He has bought into coach Johnny Dawkins’ ‘next-play mentality.’
Huestis came back stronger for the Cardinal in the second half, scoring 16 of his game-high 20 points after the break to help his team hold off Oregon State 82-72.
“It was just on to the next play for me,” said Huestis, who also had 11 rebounds. “I knew if I just kept trying to play through the offense I would get shots and they would start falling.”
Stanford (16-11, 7-7 Pac-12) also got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Dwight Powell, while Andy Brown and Chasson Randle had 13 points apiece.
Roberto Nelson had 28 points and Eric Moreland added 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Beavers (13-14, 3-11).
Oregon State closed within 73-69 after Nelson’s outside jumper with 2:41 left. Stanford answered with an Aaron Bright 3-pointer and a Powell dunk to go back ahead 78-69 with 1:09 left. The Beavers got no closer than six from there.
Bright had 12 points and six assists for the Cardinal, which had lost three of their previous four games. Joe Burton had 16 points and eight rebounds for Oregon State.
Huestis made five of seven field-goal attempts in the second half to help him score in double figures for the eighth straight game. He reached that level just six times in his team’s first 19 contests.
“Every night, I keep raising expectations higher and higher for him and he keeps meeting them or exceeding them,” Dawkins said of Huestis. “He just comes out and plays every night, he tries to compete and he makes the plays that are available.”
The Cardinal never trailed after a 7-0 run, capped by Bright’s lay-in, gave them a 43-37 lead early in the second half. A long jumper by Huestis extended the Cardinal advantage to 49-42 with 15:18 remaining.
Oregon State closed within two points twice before Brown converted a conventional three-point play to make it 54-49.
The Beavers got within two twice more before Stanford opened up a 63-56 lead on Bright’s 3-pointer with 8:33 remaining.