Missed opportunities ruled the day Sunday in Stanford's demoralizing 68-64 loss to Oregon in a Pacific-12 Conference game in front of an announced crowd of 6,197 at Maples Pavilion.
Start at the free-throw line, where the Cardinal (18-9, 8-7, Pac-12) made only 11 of 22 shots.
Then look at the missed defensive rebounds that allowed the Ducks to score 16 second-chance points.
Include a cold streak over the final 3:45 after Stanford took a 64-61 lead on senior center Josh Owens' thundering dunk.
It added up to the third home defeat of the season and a virtually impossible task to finish in the top four to earn a bye into the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament next month. A school in the bottom eight would have to win four games in four days to claim the tournament title and the NCAA tournament berth that comes with it.
"They made big plays at crunchtime," coach Johnny Dawkins said of the Ducks, who outscored his team 10-2 in the final four minutes.
The one guy who wasn't missing his opportunity wore green. Junior E.J. Singler scored 10 of Oregon's final 12 points, including a 3-pointer with 2:47 left that put the Ducks up for good.
Singler had 14 of his team-leading 20 points in the second half as Oregon (19-8, 10-5) moved into a fourth-place tie with Arizona with three games left in the season.
Stanford still had a good chance to win or send the game into overtime when Owens stripped
Dawkins called a timeout and drew up a play for Chasson Randle, his freshman guard who scored 24 points Thursday against Oregon State. Randle got a good look near the free-throw line but missed badly.
Sophomore Dwight Powell got the rebound, giving the Cardinal a second chance for once. In a mad scramble, the ball again fell to Randle with eight seconds to play. He drove into the lane from the right side, but his layup wasn't close.
Joseph rebounded the ball, and Randle fouled him. Joseph made both free throws for the final margin.
Dawkins had no regrets about calling Randle's number with the game in the balance.
"He has made those shots this year," the coach said.
"All the shots we took were great," added Owens, who led Stanford with 20 points and had five rebounds. "We took our open looks."
It wasn't only shooting that led to coughing up an early nine-point lead.
"It's been something we've been battling the second half of the Pac-12 season," Owens said. "We just couldn't close it out."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/elliottalmond.
Stanford (18-9, 8-7 Pac-12) at Colorado (17-8, 9-4), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA