Jan. 13, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Josh Huestis was better rested than most of his Stanford teammates and took on added responsibility five days after participating in the longest game in school history.
Huestis scored all of his career-high 13 points in the second half to lead Stanford past Utah 68-65 on Thursday night.
Huestis did not play a big role in the Cardinal's 103-101 four-overtime victory over Oregon State last Saturday. He was ready for action against the Utes, in the school's first meeting since Utah beat Stanford in the Sweet 16 of the 1997 NCAA tournament.
"Coach always tells us you have to be ready when your number is called," Huestis said. "I try to go out and rebound, play defense and play hard. It all fell together tonight."
"It is so important for our bench to be productive," Dawkins said. "A lot of guys weren't as focused as I've seen them and that can be attributed to the hangover of Saturday's once-in-a-lifetime game. We have to have confidence in putting guys into the game."
Huestis rewarded his coach for the confidence.
Chris Hines scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Utes (4-12, 1-3 Pac-12), who remain winless in eight road games. Josh Watkins added 14 points.
Cedric Martin hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to bring the Utes within 66-63. Randle answered with a pair of free throws, but Dijon Farr hit a basket to make it 68-65. He missed the ensuing free throw but grabbed his own rebound, and the Utes missed two chances at tying the game in the final seconds.
"We didn't do a lot of little things, like missed blockouts on free throws," Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "And whenever you are 1-9 from the free throw line, well you know about that."
Hines reached double figures in scoring for the first time in seven games after doing it in five of his first seven this season. His previous best was a 15-point performance at New Mexico last February.
Stanford looked in control when it took a 30-16 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. But the Utes shot themselves back into the game, thanks to Hines, and went on a 27-9 run that spanned both halves to ease ahead 43-39 with 15:24 remaining.
Utah made its first nine shots of the second half and scored 12 points off turnovers in that span.
Huestis, who also had 10 rebounds, made all six of his shots. He hit a 3-pointer that capped a 24-10 run for the Cardinal, pushing the edge to 63-53 with 3:24 left and setting up the hectic final seconds.
"It was frustrating, no question," Hines said. "At the same time, we know we can score. The shots looked like they all could have gone in. At the end, we knew we weren't out of it, we just had to make shots quick."
The teams combined to go 6-26 from the foul line.
Dawkins and Krystkowiak, both selected in the 1986 NBA draft, were rookies together with the San Antonio Spurs.
- Rick Eymer, Associated Press
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NOTES: Josh Huestis notched his team-leading second double-double of the year ... Stanford is one victory away from matching last year's win total ... The Cardinal is 10-1 at home, reaching the 10-win mark at Maples Pavilion for the 19th consecutive season ... Aaron Bright finished with seven points, snapping a streak of five straight games in double-figure scoring. However, Bright dished out a career-high seven assists in 35 minutes of action ... Andrew Zimmermann made the most of his 10 minutes, scoring four points and 2-2 shooting while grabbing two boards and handing out three assists. Over the last eight games, Zimmermann had totaled three points on 1-8 shooting with six rebounds and four assists ... Stanford received 23 points from its bench ... All five Utah starters played at least 30 minutes.
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Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins
On the depth of his bench...
"We don't have a lot of separation. We have some good players, but not much separation. When you have that, we have the ability to put guys in the game, and we're confident they can contribute. I think that what you've seen pretty much throughout the season for us. You never know who's going to step up. For example, Andrew (Zimmermann) didn't have 30 points tonight, or 20 points, or 10, but the plays he made and the shots he made were huge for our team. We don't win if he doesn't do what he did during that stretch (in the second half)."
On Stanford's 5-17 mark from the foul line...
"It would be hard for me to say exactly what happed at the line for us tonight. I hadn't quite seen a team shoot as poorly as I saw us shoot this evening. That's why it was so important for our bench production. The guys that came into the game, they really stepped up for us."
On the performance of Josh Huestis...
"Yes, I think this was Josh Huestis' best game. Not only did he score and rebound, but he was vocal. There were a few timeouts where we were discussing what we wanted to do, and he talked about match-ups and situations. I like to hear players talk. He was really engaged in our game, and it showed when he was on the floor. He was sound defensively for us. I thought he rebounded the ball extremely well in both halves for us. He was above the rim on several of them. And then offensively, he recognized mismatches and exploited them. For a sophomore to see that, that he had some match-ups he could take advantage of, I thought he did an excellent job of doing it. We went to him, and he produced. I called his number several times back-to-back, and he responded."
Stanford sophomore forward Josh Huestis
On the spark he provided in the second half...
"Coach (Dawkins) always tells us that we have to be ready when our number is called. It's about what you do with your minutes when you get out there. I try to rebound and play defense whenever I can. It just fell together tonight."
Stanford freshman guard Chasson Randle
On coming off the emotional win over Oregon State...
"Of course people are going to talk about it (around campus). You have to focus on what's ahead. That's what we had to do starting tonight. This game with Utah is over, and now we have Colorado on Saturday."
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Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak:
"I thought our guys couldn't have played any harder tonight. We didn't do a lot of little things, like missed blockouts on free throws, and whenever you're 1-9 from the free-throw line ... well, you know about that. It was encouraging that we did this (play Stanford so closely) on the road. Beyond that it's still pretty rough. Because we were in a position where we could win, it always hurts. I've told the guys a long time ago that if we play hard I don't care if we win, lose or draw, as long as we don't cheat the game. I think they're starting to grasp that concept. There's a correlation: When you play that hard, you're in games."
On the potential game-tying three-point attempt that was missed...
"We wanted to get the ball to Hines. It's pretty rough from that spot on the floor; the angle changed a little bit for him. I had a sneaking suspicion that we were going to send the game into overtime. Just to get a shot on goal with short time was a big key. These guys are playing a lot of minutes and battling. He has a broken thumb, can't forget about that, but he had a really nice night for us."
Junior guard Chris Hines:
On the team's performance tonight:
"Our (road) mentality was a lot harder in this game tonight. We've matured a lot since the beginning of the season. We played hard and were not blown out on the road as we have been lately."
On Stanford's decisive 10-0 scoring run late in the game:
"It was frustrating, no question. You have to give them (Stanford) credit, though. At the same time, we know we can score. The shots looked like they all could have gone in. At the end, we knew we weren't out of it, we just had to make shots quick."