Sophomore KZ Okpala poured in a career-best 29 points in a double-double performance and the host Stanford Cardinal pulled away in the second half for a season-opening 96-74 victory over the Seattle Redhawks on opening night of NCAA men’s college basketball Tuesday.
Okpala and Daejon Davis, Stanford’s only two returning starters, combined to hit all three of their 3-point attempts as the Cardinal buried 11 of 15 en route to improving its all-time record against Seattle to 6-0.
Sophomore transfer Terrell Brown had 16 points for the Redhawks, a Western Athletic Conference team that went 20-14 last season.
Stanford, which went 19-16 last year, led just 40-36 at the half before erupting for 56 points in the final 20 minutes in the first meeting between the West Coast rivals since 2012.
Okpala, whose previous high had been 23 against UCLA in the Pacific-12 Conference Tournament last March, shot 8-for-12 overall and 11-for-13 from the free throw line. He also tied a career high with 10 rebounds, a career-high-tying five assists and three blocked shots.
Cormac Ryan had 16 points, Davis 15 and Marcus Sheffield 10 for Stanford, which outscored the visitors 27-12 at the foul line.
Fifteen of Ryan’s 16 points came on 5-for-6 shooting on 3-pointers.
Matej Kavas, the Redhawks’ leading scorer last season but the only one among the top five returning this year, backed Brown with 13 points, as did Anand Hundal. Morgan Means added 11.
Hundal made three of his four 3-point shots, but his teammates went just 3-for-14 as Seattle was outscored 33-18 from beyond the arc.
Stanford outshot Seattle 51.8 percent to 43.8 and outrebounded the Redhawks 36-25.
—Field Level Media