A needed Pac-12 Conference win for the Stanford men

Dwight Powell made one of two free throws with 36 seconds remaining to play to give the Stanford men's basketball team a 61-60 victory over visiting Utah in the Pac-12 Conference regular-season finale Saturday.

Chasson Randle scored 22 points to lead the Cardinal (10-8 Pac-12, 19-11 overall), which heads into the conference tournament next week in Las Vegas as the sixth seed and will play No. 11 Washington State late Wednesday night.

"I just knew there was one game left in the season," Randle said. "It was senior night and I wanted to help this team win."

The game played out as a microcosm of Stanford's season: looking good at one point, looking bad the next and just holding on despite itself at other times.

Most observers feel the Cardinal nailed down a spot in the NCAA tournament, which would be the first time under Johnny Dawkins, but after needing a late turnover from then Utes to close out its win, Stanford may need a win in the conference tournament.

"Chasson has been terrific. He's played great for us and doing everything: scoring, making guys better by how he goes out there and approaches it," Dawkins said. "I'm really proud of him because of the bounce back that he's had from last year. Chasson is playing at a first-team All-Pac-12 level."

The Cardinal has played on the brink of disaster all year, yet somehow finds a way to play itself back into contention. It happened again against Utah.

The last 7:50 of the contest, save Powell's free throw, provided yet another example of how Stanford flirts with despair: NCAA style.

Stefan Nastic, who made all six of his field goal attempts and finished with 14 points, gave Stanford a 54-43 lead with 7:51 left in the game.

"It was a great win, a really big win, coming off three straight losses," Nastic said. "It was as big of a game as I've ever played in, just the emotions going through for the seniors and the guys that I love, so it was a good win."

Utah responded with consecutive 3-pointers and a layup to close within 54-51 with 5:40 left. Stanford, meanwhile, forgot how to shoot.

The Utes eventually took a 58-57 edge before Josh Huestis hit a 3-pointer with 2:19 left to put Stanford ahead to stay, just barely.

The Cardinal was 1 of 4 from the field, 4 of 11 from the foul line and turned the ball over twice in the final 6:54.

Utah had the ball and a chance to win in the final moments, but was called for traveling and the Cardinal escaped with a key victory.

"We knew we had to lock in defensively," Randle said. "We were ready to get after it."

Nine of the 12 seeds were determined on a frenetic final day of the Pac-12 regular season.

Men's volleyball

U.S. setter Kawika Shoji is playing his third season in Berlin this winter. We asked him to tell a little about his experience there:

Kawika Shoji

Also included is an update on Stanford grad Matt Fuerbringer, the U.S. national team assistant coach.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Coming soon: Fire Oak & Barley in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 2,800 views

Meditation Before Medication for Better Mental Health
By Chandrama Anderson | 11 comments | 1,733 views

The Saddle Room – A True Friend of Kids
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,628 views

July 27th: Colleges That Change Lives are Coming
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 4 comments | 1,486 views

Moving Away - becoming long-distance friends
By Cheryl Bac | 6 comments | 888 views