STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Well-rested after sitting the final nine minutes of the first half with foul trouble, Stanford’s Reid Travis took it out on Utah on Saturday, scoring 26 points to lead the Cardinal to an 81-75 Pac-12 victory.
“I got some quick ones in the second half and that really gave me confidence after sitting that long in the first half,” said Travis, who scored 13 of his points in the final 8:10 as the Cardinal pulled away in a seesaw game that featured 16 lead changes and nine ties.
Travis, who sat out four of the previous eight games with a shoulder injury, said he feels great. And it looked that way. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound junior shot 11 of 15 from the field and scored on an assortment of spinning drives, power moves and putbacks.
“I like some of the things we did in terms of disguising him, getting him in different positions,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. “Bottom line: he was very aggressive.”
Travis had his highest-scoring game since posting a career-best 29 vs. Kansas on Dec. 3.
Stanford took the lead for good when Robert Cartwright hit a 3-point shot for a 63-60 advantage with 7:15 left. Cartwright finished with 14 points while teammates Dorian Pickens and Marcus Allen scored 14 and 13, respectively.
Stanford shot 64 percent from the field in the second half and won despite missing five free throws in the final 1:18.
Tyler Rawson scored a career-high 20 points for Utah (15-8, 6-5) and Kyle Kuzma had 18 points and 11 rebounds. But the Utes missed nine free throws and had 17 turnovers.
Coach Larry Krystkowiak was disappointed the Utes failed to play their style of basketball.
“I don’t know it was our execution as much as we have some hard-headedness from guys who are going to go beat people by themselves,” he said. “We don’t have that kind of team; we don’t have a star on our team. When we move the basketball and play for each other, some good things happen.”
Utah: The Utes arrived in the Bay Area ready to move into the upper echelon of the Pac-12 standings, but lost to Cal and Stanford to skid back toward the middle of the pack.
Stanford: The Cardinal played their best game in a couple weeks and avoided sliding into 10th place in the conference standings.
IMPROVED GUARD PLAY
Stanford’s backcourt performance has been uneven all season, but Haase was pleased by the efforts of his two starters. Cartwright and Allen combined 27 points, nine assists and just two turnovers in 62 minutes. “It’s not even our guard play has to be phenomenal for us to be successful. It has to be solid,” he said.
Utah arrived in the Bay Area averaging just 10.8 turnovers through nine Pac-12 games, but gave the ball away 19 times in its 77-75 double-overtime loss at Cal, then then had 17 more turnovers at Stanford.
Stanford paid tribute during a second-half timeout to Cardinal women’s coach Tara VanDerveer, who on Friday night won her 1,000th career game. VanDerveer, who became just the third Division I coach to achieve the milestone, stood and waved as the Maples Pavilion crowd cheered.
Utah junior forward Tyler Rawson shot 4 for 6 from the 3-point arc on the way to his career-best 20-point effort after making just 1 of 14 from deep in his previous 12 games.
Utah: Returns home Thursday to play Washington State, whom they beat 88-47 last month.
Stanford: Travels to face No. 5 Arizona on Wednesday night. The Cardinal has lost 14 straight games to the Wildcats, including 91-52 at Maples Pavilion last month.
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