Stanford continues winning feeling 81-75 second half dominance over Utah

February 4, 2017

NCAA, Stanford Cardinal

Stanford University Cardinal forward Reid Travis grabs the offensive rebound and looks to go up for a shot nearthe basket during a college basketball game between the University of Utah Runnin’ Utes and the Stanford University Cardinal on Febraury 4, 2017 at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, CA. The Cardinal beat the Runnin’ Utes, 81-75.(Photo by Tommy LaPorte/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

By Jeremy Harness

STANFORD – A day after women’s coach Tara VanDerveer collected her 1,000th-career victory, the Stanford men’s basketball team followed suit.

While gutting out an 81-75 win over Utah Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal snapped a three-game losing streak.

The two schools went back and forth for the better part of the first 30 minutes of the game. But that’s when Reid Travis began to impose his will on the Utes.

After a relatively-quiet first half, Travis, wearing a protective sleeve for his right shoulder, really started to assert himself midway through the second half, out-muscling Utah’s frontcourt while also using his superior footwork to maneuver for shots around the basket.

Because of his second-half dominance, Utah (15-8 overall, 6-5 Pac-12) had to pay more attention to him in the low post, allowing the Cardinal to have more open looks on the perimeter, which Stanford used to its full advantage to take the lead for good.

Travis finished with 26 points – 19 of those coming in the second half – while making 11 of his 15 shots, to go along with five rebounds and four assists. He has continued to show a much-better touch at the free-throw line as well, knocking down four of his six foul shots.

The Utes, however, made things interesting in the final minute. After a free throw by Marcus Allen – who scored 13 points while converting on five of his eight field-goal attempts – the Cardinal led by nine, but Utah knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to cut the lead to four with 31 seconds left.

By that time, however, the Utes had to play the foul game, and guard Robert Cartwright then stepped down and hit a pair of crucial free throws. Stanford then guarded the 3-poiunt line more closely, and as a result, the Cardinal came away with the win.

Cartwright finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including knockingin three of his four 3-point attempts. Dorian Pickens also added 14 points.

The Cardinal (12-11 overall, 4-7 Pac-12 led 32-31 at the half, despite being outrebounded 20-13 in the first 20 minutes. Stanford, however, committed two fewer turnovers than Utah in that timeframe.

Other than that, the game was split right down the middle. Both teams made 12 field goals in the first half, with each school making a pair of 3-point attempts in the process.

To start the second half, Stanford was even steadier with the ball while forcing the Utes into even more turnovers. However, Utah was able to use the 3-ball to take the lead right back, opening up a four-point lead at the 8:41 mark.

On the ensuing possession, Travis worked himself inside for a layup to cut Utah’s lead to two, and after Utah standout forward Kyle Kuzma missed an inside basket, the Cardinal got it in to Travis again, and he converted to tie the game.

Sedrick Barefield hit a jumper at the 7:29 mark to give the Utes a two-point lead. That would be the last time Stanford trailed in this game.

Tyler Rawson led the Utes with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Kuzma was right behind him with 18 to go along with 11 rebounds.



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