Denver (1-4) at Stanford (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 2, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,439) -- Stanford, California.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Denver 1-3, Stanford 3-1. Away
Record: Denver 0-2, Stanford 0-0. Neutral Record: Denver 0-0, Stanford 2-2.
Conference Record: Denver 0-0, Stanford 0-0. Series Record: Stanford leads
GAMES NOTES: In the second matchup of a three-game homestand the Stanford
Cardinal will take on the Denver Pioneers in non-conference action at Maples
Denver is playing the second of back-to-back road games and will certainly be
hoping for a better result after they lost to Southern Miss 61-50 on Tuesday.
That defeat was the third straight for the Pioneers who are 1-4 this season
and 0-2 on the road. Denver will play three of its next four games back at
Magness Arena starting with Mercer on Wednesday.
After opening the season with three straight wins, Stanford has been
alternating wins and losses over its last four games but is coming off a
victory against Seattle. The Cardinal downed the Redhawks 68-57 in the first
game of the current homestand to bounce back from a 1-2 showing at the Battle
4 Atlantis. The Cardinal will be off for nearly two weeks after this game
before facing UC Davis on Dec. 15.
Stanford has won its last four meetings with Denver and has a 7-2 advantage
all-time against the Pioneers. Denver has not gotten a win against the
Cardinal since the 1972 season.
The Pioneers had a miserable day on offense against Southern Miss managing a
season-low in points, while shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor. The
only reason the game was even remotely close was due to the fact that Denver
outscored Southern Miss 27-12 from 3-point range. Denver also managed to turn
17 Southern Miss turnovers into 19 points. Royce O'Neale scored nearly half of
the team's points as he put in 22 and nailed five triples.
Although the offensive showing Denver had against Southern Miss was its worst
of the season its not as if the Pioneers have been lighting it up. Denver
scores only 58.0 points per game and shoots just 37.6 percent from the field.
Most of the games have been at least reasonably competitive as the Pioneers
only surrender 61.8 points per game despite allowing teams top shoot 26.6
percent from the field. Rebounding is also a weakness with the team bringing
in only 28.4 per game. O'Neale (13.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.8 apg) has a well rounded
game out of the forward spot but really needs more shooting nights like he had
against Southern Miss. The 6-foot-5 forward is shooting just 38.2 percent from
the field. Chris Udofia (12.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg,. 3.6 apg) teams with O'Neale in
the frontcourt, while Chase Hallam (10.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Brett Olson (9.8
ppg) lead on the wings.
It was slow going for Stanford in the first half against Seattle. The Cardinal
managed to connect on only 9-of-31 shots in the first half and trailed 30-27
at the break. Stanford turned it around in the second half, nailing 12-of-30
shots while holding a 16-7 edge in points from the free-throw line to secure
the win. Josh Huestis scored only seven points, but blocked 10 shots.
Even though Stanford only shoots 38.8 percent from the floor it has still
managed to obtain a scoring differential of +6.3 by scoring 69.1 points per
game. Stanford has also limited opponents to a low field goal percentage
(38.3). The backcourt took a hit in mid-November when Aaron Bright (9.0 ppg,
3.8 apg) sprained his ankle. He has missed four games. In that time there has
been more pressure put on fellow guard Chasson Randle (15.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0
apg) who despite leading the team in scoring, has not shot well (35.6 FG
percentage). Dwight Powell (12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Huestis (7.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
have played well up front with Huestis protecting the rim effectively by
blocking 3.2 shots per game. Stepping in for Bright in the starting lineup is
Christian Sanders (4.1 ppg) who has had meager numbers in his new role.
Forward Andy Brown (7.7 ppg) had a season-high 17 points against Seattle and
has been an effective scorer off the bench.
Although the Cardinal are certainly a weaker team without Bright, Stanford has
still managed to remain competitive with Randle getting support from other
players on the roster.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 74, Denver 59
12/02 10:37:44 ET
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