It was Senior Day for the Stanford men's basketball team on Sunday. Since Gabriel Harris is the team's only senior, it seemed on right that he contribute to the Cardinal's final regular-season home game.
With Harris producing career highs of 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench, Stanford romped to an 84-66 victory over visiting Utah in Pac-12 action.
"I thought it was a great game for our guys on Senior Day," said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. "We really honored Gabe (Harris). I thought he came out and gave us some of the best play of his career, so I'm just very, very happy for him. The young man has gone through so much with regards to the injuries he sustained in high school and throughout his college career. For him to play like he played tonight, on his last day at Maples, I'm very, very proud for him."
The Cardinal (17-13, 8-9 Pac-12) led by as many as 22 points, using a big run in the second half to pull away.
Sophomore Chasson Randle was determined to not let Stanford blow another big second-half lead.
With one more game until the Pac-12 tournament -- Wednesday at California -- it was exactly the type of lift Dawkins' team needed.
"I thought we did a good job as a team collectively," Dawkins said. "We shared the basketball, which shows with 20 assists. Our bench was terrific. Gabe being one of those players, but also John Gage, and the guys that came in gave us a lift. So I'm really, really happy of our overall effort."
Randle scored 22 points and matched his career high with six assists, and Stanford snapped its longest losing streak at home this season.
"Guys dug defensively and got stops when we needed to," said Randle, who also matched his career high of four 3-pointers. "Then we capitalized on the other end of the floor. We did a good job of finding each other, even in tough situations."
Four days after wasting a 10-point lead in the second half of a 65-63 loss to Colorado, Stanford jumped out to another big advantage against Utah then had to hold on after a surge by the Utes cut the Cardinal's lead to 46-42 with 16 minutes left.
Randle provided the biggest boost. He made a 3-pointer and added two free throws, then later scored on a cut through the key to cap a 9-0 run. Stanford went on another big run followed by Randle's fourth trey that put Stanford up 74-58.
"We were able to withstand it," Dawkins said. "We were able to dig down, dig in and get stops which gave us a chance to build our lead back up. You're not going to make that run back on the offensive end. You have to dig in."
Dwight Powell added 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Stanford.
Stanford hadn't won at Maples Pavilion since beating Oregon State 81-73 on Feb. 3. Since then, the Cardinal had dropped three straight at home and was in danger of its longest slump at their home arena since 2010.
Harris reached double digits for the first time this season while playing in his final home game. Harris finished 6 of 7 from the floor and scored six of the Cardinal's final eight points.
Utah made it close early in the second but couldn't keep up and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Randle also had two 3s during an 11-0 first-half run for Stanford. Harris also provided a boost off the bench in the first half with eight points -- one more than his previous season high -- to help the Cardinal take a 44-31 halftime lead.
Utah, held to a season-low 46 points in Thursday's 18-point loss at California, made its best run coming out of the break and got to within 49-45.
The Cardinal responded with a 20-6 run highlighted by Powell's dunk and tip-in following his own miss.
Stanford now has won eight of its last 10 Senior Day games. Harris certainly did his part to bring home the win in this one.
"It feels great," he said. "It's just a blessing to have a chance to play my final game. Last year my season got cut short, so this year I just took every game as an opportunity to play well, and I happened to have a great one in my last one."
Watching Harris close out his home career was former Cardinal standout Landry Fields, who sat behind the team bench. Fields is in town with the NBA's Toronto Raptors, who face the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.