Utah (11-16) at Stanford (16-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 3, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,392) -- Stanford, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Utah 9-7, Stanford 10-5. Away Record: Utah 2-9, Stanford 4-6. Neutral Record: Utah 0-0, Stanford 2-2. Conference Record: Utah 3-12, Stanford 7-9. Series Record: Utah leads, 15-9.
GAMES NOTES: The Stanford Cardinal will try to put a halt to a two-game slide in their final home game of the season when they take on the Utah Utes in a Pac-12 Conference matchup at Maples Pavilion.
Utah's task will be to stop a three-game losing streak after the Utes were handed a 64-46 loss by California on Thursday night. With the setback Utah is now 11-16 overall, while a miserable 3-12 in conference action. The Utes are ahead of only Washington State and Oregon State in the league standings, while owning a 2-9 mark on the road. Utah will be at home against Oregon State and Oregon in its final pair of games this season.
With losses in four of its last five games, Stanford's NCAA Tournament hopes have all but disappeared unless it makes a run in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. The Cardinal are below .500 in league play (7-9) but they have managed to pick up 10 wins at home in 15 contests. They have dropped back-to- back games to Oregon (77-66) and most recently, Colorado (65-63). On Wednesday the Cardinal will finish off the season on the road against California.
It was not a competitive contest when these teams met at the end of January. Stanford ran up an 87-56 win at Utah. The teams have traded decisions in the last four meetings with Utah holding onto the all-time series lead, 15-9.
Against one of the hottest teams in the country, Utah had no answers on offense against California. The Utes had no players in double figures and made good on just 29.1 percent of their shots from the floor. Points off turnovers played a role with the Utes outscored 18-12 off takeaways.
Utah has been victim to low-scoring efforts more often than not this season. The Utes are the lowest scoring team in the Pac-12 (63.5 pg), while shooting at just a 43.9-percent clip from the field. The Utes do play solid defense, holding teams to 62.2 points per game on less than 40 percent shooting. Jordan Loveridge (11.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) was the closest player to double figures against California as he put in nine points, narrowly missing a double-double with 11 rebounds. Jarred DuBois (11.7 ppg) is another double-figure scorer on the year. Jason Washburn (11.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) completes 56 percent of his shots but isn't called on to carry the Utes on offense.
Stanford led by 10 points against Colorado last time out, but an 18-2 run midway through the second half by the Buffaloes reclaimed the lead for Colorado for good. Stanford shot just 33.3 percent in the final 20 minutes after hitting on better than 46 percent in the first frame.
The problem for Stanford on the offensive end has been efficiency. The Cardinal are scoring a respectable 70 points per game but rank second to last in the Pac-12 in assists (11.7 pg) and dead last in field-goal percentage (.413). On defense Stanford is limiting teams to 65.9 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting. Dwight Powell (15.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg) is one of the better big men in the conference as the leading scorer for Stanford. Josh Huestis (10.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg) is a constant double-double threat that teams with Powell to form quite the frontcourt tandem. Chasson Randle (13.8 ppg) shoots below 40 percent from the floor, while Aaron Bright (8.5 ppg) is the only other player above 6.5 points per game.
These teams didn't look very even at the Huntsman Center. Now that Stanford is at home the result isn't likely to change.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 70, Utah 65
03/03 10:35:49 ET