Stanford (5-2 in conference) is a good basketball team; that is clear now. Unfortunately, they were not quite good enough on this Saturday afternoon, falling 73-71 to the 14th ranked Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona got off to a great start, going up 12 points in the first half. Their interior defense altered many Stanford shots, and ultimately blocking 9 of them. DeAndre Ayton, the likely top three NBA Draft pick, sent back 6 of them.
The Stanford defense closed the off playing tough defense, stymying the Arizona attack and holding them scoreless for five minutes. By the break, the lead was just two. Unfortunately, freshman phenom PG Daejon Davis appeared to turn his ankle late in the half, and did not return to the game.
In the second half, the teams traded baskets, until an 11-0 Stanford run. After Ayton picked up his fourth personal foul, Sean Miller screamed profanities at the officials. The momentum was completely on the side of Stanford.
That lead was short-lived, as Dylan Smith knocked down a silencing three and dished out a nice assists. The run was peppered with big plays by Trier.
Late in the game, Stanford’s lack of a point guard showed, as Parker Jackson-Cartwright made two key steals to give Arizona a late lead, forcing Stanford to foul. With just 4.2 seconds remaining, Stanford inbounded the ball to Dorian Pickens. He raced down the court and fired a desperation three at the buzzer. The shot was off the mark.
Reid Travis led the way for Stanford with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Humphrey played well against the school that formerly offered him, contributing 13 points and 12 rebounds. Dorian Pickens added 15.
Allonzo Trier scored 21 for the Wildcats, who are now alone at the top of the conference. Dusan Ristic had a big 18 points, playing extra in place of the foul-ridden Ayton. Arizona has now won 16 straight against Stanford.
The Cardinal will be in action on Wednesday night at USC, the team they previously defeated on Davis’ miracle shot. Arizona will likely continue to rise in the rankings, in the midst of an ongoing FBI investigation.