A quick look at the standings shows the Bay Area schools sitting atop the Pac-12 standings. I caught both games on Saturday. The Huskies are going to have tough games on Thursday and Saturday. Cal dominated Utah. After playing Washington and Stanford close, the Utes were overwhelmed by the Golden Bears. Cal was able to run it’s sets and get easy shot after easy shot. The Bears shot over 59.6 percent from the field.
From Jeff Faraudo’s game story …
The victory keeps the Bears (15-4, 5-1) in a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with Stanford heading into a Thursday showdown with Washington in Seattle.
The Huskies (10-6, 3-1) play rival Washington State on Sunday at home, where they are 9-1 this season and beat Cal by 32 points a year ago.
“They’re physical, they pressure and they play fast,” senior guard Jorge Gutierrez said. “We’re excited for the challenge, but we know it’s going to be tough.”
The Bears used a 20-3 first-half run to assume a 32-15 halftime lead, then made their first five shots of the second half to extend the margin to 21 points.
Also in the game, redshirt freshman Alex Rossi scored his first collegiate points after battling all kinds of injury issues.
Utah coach Larry Krsytkowiak said the Bears are an “elite” team.
In Palo Alto, Stanford broke open a relatively tight game with ridiculous 32-5 run in the second half, and defeated Colorado, 84-64. Sophomore swingman Josh Huestis, who hails from Great Falls, MONTANA, scored 13 points and had four blocks and four rebounds. Huestis is a solid player and with Josh Owens, Andrew Zimmerman, Dwight Powell, the Cardinal is pretty tough up front.
From Elliott Almond’s game story …
“I know when I go in there the first thing I got to contribute is rebounding and defense,” Huestis said. “Everything falls in place after that.”
It all fell favorably for the Cardinal on a day it matched its victory total from last season.
After a lethargic performance Thursday over lowly Utah, Stanford came to play against the Buffaloes (11-6, 3-2), one of the league’s top rebounding teams. Center Josh Owens had seven rebounds as the Cardinal out-rebounded Colorado 35-27.
“We got manhandled out there,” Boyle said. “I’m telling you: To a man, those guys are strong, they are good jumpers, andthey crash the boards.
The Buffaloes went into the road trip 3-0 and return 3-2. But head coach Tad Boyle said the first Pac-12 road trip wasn’t anything that should have intimidated them. The Buffaloes bench, which hurt the Huskies, wasn’t as productive on this road trip.
Down in Tucson, the Oregon Ducks went into the McKale Center and came out with a 59-57 victory to complete a sweep of the Arizona schools. The Ducks squandered a 17-point lead but hung on at the end.
Arizona coach Sean Miller wasn’t pleased with the way his team played in the first half, and he let it be known. From Bruce Pascoe’s game story …
“I’m very disappointed in our team,” Miller said. “We are not the most talented Arizona team. We’re certainly not the biggest Arizona team. But what we can control is collective effort and for 20 minutes we picked and choosed how hard we were going to play.
“The game was too physical for us. If you look at the rebounding numbers for the first 20 minutes, we were overwhelmed. It was men against boys.”
Patrick Finley has this column on all that went wrong in Arizona’s possessions late in the game.
ASU knocked off Oregon State, 76-66, despite losing Trent Lockett to an injury. The Beavers are now 1-5 in the Pac-12, and their season is sinking quickly. Craig Robinson was searching for leadership his team and never found any.
For today’s UCLA-USC game …
Harold “Baby Jordan” Miner will have his jersey retired at the game. He was great on the original NBA jam. And he was also quite the character during his playing days.