9. Stanford Cardinal (10-10, 3-5 Pac-12) LW: 9
Now sitting at 10-10 overall, it’s apparent that Stanford has been among the Pac-12’s most inconsistent teams this season.
At times, the Cardinal look like a functioning squad capable of great success. This was the case in its win over Arizona State and six-point loss to Kansas. In other instances, however, they look out of sorts.
And, perhaps most common for this squad, the Cardinal usually just play average basketball: not horrible, but not stunning.
That was the case against the Mountain schools. Stanford lost to Utah but rebounded with a double-digit win over Colorado, another struggling team.
Against the Utes, Stanford was in the game until the final minutes.
There were several lead changes, some of which were in the second half, but Utah’s exquisite 3-point shooting ultimately gave the Utes the dub. As a team, Utah shot 9-of-14 from long range, and Sedrick Barefield converted on four of his five attempts.
In spite of the loss, Stanford was prolific on the glass. The Cardinal won the rebounding margin by nine boards and held an 11 to five advantage offensively.
Individually, KZ Okpala was the leader for the Cardinal. He scored 22 points, a team-high on 7-of-11 shooting.
Daejon Davis was also critical in keeping the Cardinal in striking distance. A sophomore guard, Davis recorded 17 points in the defeat.
The next game, against Colorado, Stanford got behind early. At the midway point, Colorado held a 37-31 advantage, but the Buffaloes weren’t prepared for Stanford’s second-half attack.
Out of the halftime gates, Stanford was electric from the field, shooting a 71.4 (15-of-21) percent clip. With 11:11 remaining in the game, Stanford took its first lead of the game; the Cardinal didn’t give it up.
Stanford kept a comfortable lead into the final minutes and won 75-62 at Maples Pavilion. This time, Oscar da Silva was the star, leading the team with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Eight games into the conference schedule, Stanford sits 3-5 in league play. For Stanford, this is rivalry week. The Cardinal head across the Bay this Sunday for a matchup with struggling Cal.