Sharma’s double-double helps Stanford beat Long Beach St.
“He challenged me to play with more passion and energy,” said Sharma, who took it to heart.
Stanford’s only senior recorded his first double-double with career highs of 23 points and 18 rebounds and the Cardinal beat Long Beach State 93-86 on Saturday night.
Sharma, whose previous career bests were 15 points and nine rebounds, was 10-of-15 shooting.
“I was mad at him,” Haase said. “I wanted him to play with more consistency and be a leader. He responded when I’ve been all over him.”
Daejon Davis had 17 points, on 8-of-9 shooting, and five assists for Stanford (7-5), which has won five of seven. Davis left the game with an apparent left leg injury with 6:40 remaining. Haase said he doesn’t know the extent of the injury.
“Daejon is a huge part of this team but there are guys willing to step into his role,” Sharma said. “We got together and got past that.”
Bryan Alberts scored 22 points to lead the 49ers (5-10). Deishuan Booker added 20 and Temidayo Yussef 13.
“That’s our fifth Pac-12 game and in four of them we were in a one-possession game and lost all four,” 49ers coach Dan Monson said. “You play these games to win, and I think we’re good enough, but we’re not consistent enough. That’s what we take away from this one.”
Jordan Griffin hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to bring the 49ers within two points but the Okpala had six points in the final 34 seconds as Stanford closed on a 7-2 run.
Alberts hit a 3-pointer and Yussef made a jumper Long Beach State a 45-43 edge but Stanford responded with a 13-1 run to make it 56-46 with just less than 14 minutes remaining and the Cardinal led the rest of the way.
Long Beach State, which beat Stanford for the first time last season, is 0-8 on the road. … The 49ers, who have defeated a Pac-12 team in each of the past two seasons, went 0-5 against the conference this season. … Oakland-native Temidayo Yussef reached double figures for the 10th time in 11 games.
Stanford sophomore Oscar da Silva averaged 6.3 points over his first six games. Since then he’s averaged over 13 points a game. … Freshman Cormac Ryan missed his third game with an injury. … Davis has reached double figures in scoring in his past five games since a six-game stretch of nine points or fewer.
Long Beach State hosts Bethesda in a nonconference game next Saturday.
Stanford travels to UCLA to open Pac-12 Conference play on Thursday.
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