March 3, 2013
With one more game until the Pac-12 tournament, it was exactly the type of lift coach Johnny Dawkins' team needed.
Randle scored 22 points and matched his career high with six assists, and Stanford snapped its longest losing streak at home this season with an 84-66 win over Utah on Sunday.
"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 cutter through the key to cap a 9-0 run. Stanford went on another big run followed by Randle's fourth 3 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 while Harris had career-highs of 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench on Senior Day for the Cardinal. Stanford (17-13, 8-9 Pac-12) led by as many as 22 points, using a big run in the second to pull away.
Jarred DuBois had 22 points for Utah, 14 in the second half. It wasn't enough to prevent the Utes (11-17, 3-13) from losing their fourth straight.
"We had two consecutive turnovers when we pulled to within striking distance," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "I don't know that there's anything that's sucking the life out of our team more than turnovers. When they take it down and score, it really compounds the issue."
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 were in danger of their longest slump at their home arena since 2010.
Harris, the lone senior on Dawkins' team, 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.
That completed a season sweep for Stanford, which finishes the regular season at California on Wednesday. The Cardinal defeated the Golden Bears 69-59 on Jan. 19.
"People have forgotten we already beat them this year," Harris said. "It's all about momentum."
Utah made it close early in the second but couldn't keep up and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Jason Washburn helped the Utes get off to a fast start before Powell made a 15-foot jumper, scored on an alley-oop pass from Randle then added two free throws as part of a 10-2 run that put Stanford in front for good. Powell later made a 3-pointer that extended the Cardinal's lead to 36-19.
Randle also had two 3s during an 11-0 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.
DuBois scored the Utes' first seven points in the second half while Cedric Martin scored five straight, including a 3-pointer that cut Stanford's lead to 49-45.
The Cardinal responded with a 20-6 run highlighted by Powell's dunk and tip-in following his own miss.
- Michael Wagaman, Associated Press
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NOTES: Stanford has won eight of its last 10 Senior Day games ... In four career games against Utah, Chasson Randle is averaging 17.3 points while shooting 23-51 (45.1 percent) from the field with 13 three-pointers ... Dwight Powell has scored in double figures in 17 consecutive games after pouring in 15 points against Utah ... After an 0-9 stretch from three-point territory, John Gage is 6-12 spanning his last four games ... Stanford's 20 assists represented a season-high total ... The Cardinal owned a 29-8 edge in bench points ... Stanford has outscored Utah 171-122 this year in two meetings ... About the only blemish for Gabriel Harris on Senior Day was missing one of his two free throws. Harris was 12-14 from the charity stripe entering Sunday's game ... Former Cardinal standout Landry Fields sat behind the team bench. Fields is in town with the Toronto Raptors, who face the Golden State Warriors tomorrow.
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Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
"I thought it was a great game for our guys on Senior Day. 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. I thought we did a good job as a team collectively. 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."
"When a young man has a performance like that, especially on Senior Day, and I've seen this happen through college basketball, it doesn't have to be just one game. He can kind of ride that. You gain momentum. What he gained was confidence that he can do more out there on the floor. And there's nothing saying that he can't repeat that or give efforts similar to that out there as we go forward. But the only way that can happen is if you believe in yourself and we believe in you, and of course, we do. So hopefully he can continue to play at the level he's playing at."
"It's hard for Gabe to have a complete practice with us. He has extra days off. We have to really modify his schedule so he can compete for us. And through it all, you know, he's been great mentoring our young guys. He's grabbing him, telling them what they should do, and he knows our culture, what we want. He's an extension of who we are as a staff."
"Well, you always want to finish as high up as you possibly can. We also have our eyes on preparing for the Pac-12 Tournament as well. We're playing our rival, so that's always a big game for us. So we'll prepare for it as a big game, and for us, if we can finish up higher than where we are now, that would be terrific. It was good to see it come together tonight, the way we did it on both ends of the floor."
"We've had some terrific practices from the last time we played. We had a tough loss against Colorado and we understood that, and we had to bounce back. So in practice we went right back to work. The thing I always look at in our guys to try to gauge where we are is by how much energy we have in practice, how much enthusiasm we have in practice. Guys are still staying around in the gym, they still come in early, they leave late. That's always a tell-tale sign of where your guys are mentally. Now we have to take it one game at a time, starting with Cal."
Stanford Senior Guard Gabriel Harris
"It feels great. 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."
"I actually work on [the turnaround jumper] every day with Coach Madsen, but I don't usually get the chance to pull it. I got to play three a lot tonight, so I had an opportunity to come across and pull it a few times."
"It's somewhat bittersweet, just because I'm going to miss my guys. During my career, I really met a lot of great people. Landry Fields was here my freshman year. He took me on my visit and everything, so it was great to have him back [in the crowd]. But just seeing him and how my teammates surrounded me today, and just kept pushing me to keep going, keep attacking, keep going, it just really gave me a good feeling."
"It's really just picking up our momentum for the Pac-12 Tournament. Cal is great, but we've already beaten them. People have forgotten that we beat them earlier this year. So we just have to go in there and fight, because we know their crowd is going to be on us, just like it always is. It's really just about picking up momentum, and for us to key in on everything we need to do to beat other teams also."
"I think our team is built to go to tournaments, because we are so deep. But we definitely noticed with Colorado [last year], it's all about momentum. And they just picked up the pace and played well when it was time to play well. And that's basically the only thing we're going to take from Colorado. We're just going to make sure we're ready to go when it's time to go, because it's four games in four days. We just have to go do it."
Stanford Sophomore Guard Chasson Randle
"It's always good to win at home, especially the last game of the season in here. Senior Day for Gabe, it was just awesome. Guys dug in defensively and got stops when we needed to, and capitalized on the other end of the floor."
"Utah does a great job defensively, like you just said. Looking on film, they make it tough for teams to get open looks and they know where shooters are at all times on the floor. Tonight, I think we did a good job of finding each other, even in tough situations, and then guys made plays when we needed to."
Utah Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak
"Defensively in the first half, we weren't really locked in. We gave up 11 three-pointers and they're a good shooting team. We had a number of mental breakdowns. Then we went through that stretch at the end of the first half where we got them to miss their shots but we didn't get any rebounds. It was almost like we expected every one of them to go in but we forgot to rebound."
"Stanford leads the league in three-point shooting. They had 11 threes. That's what they lead the league in. Part of it, is that we need to be smaller to keep up with the shooters. We don't have the roster that allows us to be smaller due to injuries. We've got bigger guys trying to guard smaller guys. We had breakdowns on triple handoffs and pick and roll coverage at key points in the game. This is one of those games where we have to look at the tape and maybe reinvent ourselves and come up with another plan."
"We don't match up well against them. They have some athleticism. Powell at the center is a tough matchup. Gage is a great shooter. For whatever reason they have our number, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that maybe we have a chance to play them again in the Pac-12 Tournament."
"We made a couple more turnovers there midway in the second half, which has been the state of our team right now. We had two consecutive turnovers when we pulled to within striking distance. I don't know that there's anything that's sucking the life out of our team more than turnovers. When they take it down and score, it really compounds the issue."
Utah Senior Guard Jarred DuBois
"We allowed them to get some open baskets, open three-point shots, and they separated from us. It also involved lack of plays by somebody like myself on both ends of the court, because as a senior you have to figure out a way to keep that run alive by getting a stop, or whatever you need to do for your team. From that point of view, I need to do a better job of maintaining that momentum - getting the rebound, taking the charge, or something, to make sure we don't lose those runs. Good offense is always going to beat good defense. If you play hard and they hit a contested shot, there's nothing you can do about it."