GAME NOTES: After nearly upsetting top-ranked Arizona, the Stanford Cardinal match up against the Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pac-12 Conference clash at Maples Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
Stanford nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season on Wednesday, but fell short in a 60-57 decision against Arizona. The loss was the second in the last three games for the Cardinal, who are 13-7 overall, including an even 4-4 against the rest of the conference. They will visit rival California next.
On Wednesday, Arizona State had more luck, earning an impressive victory in overtime over California. The Sun Devils have won three straight and improved to 16-5 overall, as well as to 5-3 in conference. They will return home to host Oregon State next Thursday.
Last season, Arizona State knocked Stanford out of the Pac-12 Tournament in the first round, with an 89-88 victory. The win ended a six-game win streak in the all-time series for Stanford, which is 44-31 against the Sun Devils.
Jermaine Marshall nailed a 3-pointer to force overtime and the Sun Devils outscored California 12-0 in the extra session to earn Wednesday's victory. The Sun Devils outscored the Golden Bears from beyond the arc, 27-12, in the contest and were paced by 29 points from Jahii Carson.
Carson (18.9 ppg, 5.7 apg) also handed out seven assists on Wednesday as he continues to piece together one of the best seasons of any guard in the Pac-12. He is third in the conference in scoring and among the top-10 in assists. Marshall (15 ppg) is connecting on 48.8 percent of his shots from the floor, serving as an excellent running mate with Carson in the ASU backcourt. Up front, Jordan Bachynski (11.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 4.2 bpg) anchors the squad, proving scoring and rebounding, while also leading the country in blocked shots.
Stanford simply ran out of gas against Arizona on Wednesday. The Cardinal had just a single field goal in the final 10 minutes of the contest, while shooting 37.5 percent from the floor overall. Dwight Powell netted 13 points to lead the way, but he was limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble.
Another major reason for the loss was the erratic play of Chasson Randle (18.7 ppg). The Cardinal's leading scorer tallied 12 points on just 3-of-15 shooting in the loss, missing a number of easy looks down the stretch. Powell (14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) did his best to keep Stanford in the game, but he sat on the bench for far too long. Josh Huestis (11.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg) has always been a fine complement to Powell on the interior, and he was on Wednesday as well with 13 points and 11 rebounds, although he went just 5-of-16 from the field. Anthony Brown (12.8 ppg) is also averaging double figures, but he had only seven points on 3-of-9 shooting against Arizona.
Although moral victories don't put anything in the win column, the Cardinal proved that they can hang with top-tier competition, especially at home. Expect them to find a bit more offensive success en route to a bounce-back win today.
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