It wasn't the easiest of wins but the Stanford men's basketball team will take it no matter what it looks like. At this stage, it's more about getting the team in synch.
The Cardinal downed visiting Northeastern, 73-59, on Friday in a non-bracketed game of the PK80 Invitational, which gets underway on Thanksgiving in Portland.
"We're excited about that game," Stanford's Michael Humphrey said. "It's a big-time opponent. It's good to go in with a win."
After meeting the Tar Heels, Stanford will play Florida in the first round of the PK80 and either Ohio State or Gonzaga in the second round, about a difficult a stretch of schedule as one can find.
"Every game is just an opportunity," Cardinal freshman Daejon Davis said. "Coach reminds never to put an opponent higher or lower. We're going to prepare for every game the same way."
Stanford could be without Dorian Pickens on Monday night. He's missed the past two games with a left foot injury.
"He's in the training room a lot," Stanford coach Jared Haase said. "Until the trainers tell me otherwise, I won't rule him out."
Northeastern drew within 57-55 with 5:42 remaining to play before Stanford finished the game by ramping up its defense and going on a 16-4 run the rest of the way.
The Huskies did not score over the final 2:58. They committed five of their 15 turnovers in the final five minutes.
"We have so much to improve upon," said Davis, who added 10 points and six assists. "We can't the dips we had in the second half. We have to keep the energy up for all 40 minutes."
Humphrey led Stanford with 17 points and 11 rebounds, freshman sharpshooter Isaac White added 17 points, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts, and Reid Travis added 16 points.
"We're not a championship-caliber team yet," Cardinal coach Jarod Haase said. "If you want a polished product, you're not going to get it. This is a step in the right direction. We faced some adversity and the guys responded well."