Pac-12 Action in Week Five

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By Gerald Nicdao, Continuing Contributor
Posted Feb 2, 2015
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2015 BearInsider.com


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As January turns to February, the talk of resumes, bad losses, good losses and season-saving wins will inevitably take over the conversation in college basketball.

As January turns to February, the talk of resumes, bad losses, good losses and season-saving wins will inevitably take over the conversation in college basketball.

The same can be said for the Pac-12. After a less-than stellar non conference slate, the conference continues to struggle as in-conference parity rears its ugly head. The so-called bracketologists have just three Pac-12 teams dancing as of Monday evening. Conference-leading Arizona, second-place Utah and third-place Stanford all have secure berths to the NCAA Dance come March.

But after those three there are a trio of teams hoping to rebuild their resumes to sway the selection committee. UCLA did its best to recover from its awful non-conference schedule, winning huge games against the No. 11 Utes and Colorado at home last week. Oregon and Oregon State split games against the Arizona schools. All three are 5-4 in conference and have the best chances of breaking into the dance.

California picked up an important road sweep of the Washington schools, but remains mired in the bottom third of the conference standings.

The Bruins might be on their way back to relevance, especially after their huge win over Utah last week.

Powell fuels UCLA's upset over No. 11 Utah

To say it was embarrassing is an understatement. To say it was a statement was not hyperbole. When UCLA visited Salt Lake City last month, it left bruised, its Tournament hopes fragile and its season maybe even on life-support. That's what a 32-point loss will do to a team.

That 32-point loss hung in the air at Pauley Pavilion last Thursday. But instead of it being a harbinger for more humiliation, it was motivation as the Bruins took down Utah, 69-59.

UCLA was led by senior Norman Powell who scored 23 points in an effort to ensure the loss in Salt Lake City didn't happen at Pauley Pavilion.

Mission accomplished.

“Soon as I walked in the locker room and see the score from the last game, 71-39, and it's something that's really embarrassing,” Powell told the Los Angeles Times. “We felt that.”

The opening eight minutes of the second half guaranteed the embarrassment wouldn't't happen again. The Bruins opened a 15-point lead with a 12-0 run to start the second half. UCLA held Utah scoreless until the 12:38 mark in that half.

The Utes could not recover. Brandon Taylor led a mini Utah run to cut the deficit to seven, 62-55, with just under three minutes left. But the Utes could not then get over the hump. Taylor had 14 points in the loss even as while Delon Wright led Utah with 15.

The loss puts Utah a game behind conference-leading Arizona.

“They out scrapped us and we made it hard on ourselves,” Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak told the Associated Press. “We're not the kind of team that can just show up. It just wasn't good.”

Stanford falls to Washington State, stumbling to third place

If Stanford is going to seriously contend in the Pac-12, someone will have to help Chasson Randle. Randle, the conference's leading scorer, had 33 points in Pullman on Saturday night, but it was not enough. Washington State squeaked past the Cardinal, 89-88, behind Davonte Lacy's 25 points.

The difference, finally, was that Lacy had help and Randle didn't. Que Johnson, Ike Iroegbu and Josh Hawkinson each scored 14 points to support of Lacy.

Randle got his 33, but no one else on Stanford scored more than 10 points. Anthony Brown and Sefan Nastic both got 10, but no one else scored in double figures.

"I didn't think we played as well as we're capable. I give Washington State a lot of credit, they played with desperation, they played well together pretty much the entire game," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins told the San Jose Mercury-News. "We had our moments but we have to play better for 40 minutes."

Stanford squandered a 13-point first half lead, but still had the chance to tie the game at the end. Roscoe Allen missed the potential game-tying jumper and Wazzu iced the game with free throws.

The Cardinal now fall to third place in the Pac-12 by failing to keep pace with Arizona and Utah.

Conference Quick Hitters

  • Arizona has won 17 consecutive conference games at home.
  • Roosevelt Scott and Connor MacDougall were reinstated for Arizona State's loss to Oregon. Both, suspended for three games for the old “violation of team rules” did not play.
  • California forward David Kravish became the school's all-time leader in blocks Sunday. He now has 209 career swats.
  • Colorado is now 1-5 against Steve Alford.
  • Stanford still leads the all-time series against Washington State 74-60
  • Oregon's Jordan Bell keeps adding to his own single-season block record. He had two blocks against Arizona State, giving him 71 on the season.
  • Oregon State could not complete the sweep against Arizona this year. The Beavers haven't swept the Wildcats since 1983.
  • UCLA is 42-6 in the new Pauley Pavilion.
  • USC scored just 12 points in the first half in their loss to Utah on Sunday.
  • With its win against USC on Sunday, Utah earned its first victory in Los Angeles since it beat UCLA in 1961.
  • Washington's Alaska Airlines Arena was visibly empty Sunday afternoon, with the home-town Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. There was an announced crowd of 6,319 in an arena that seats 10,000. Students were given free tickets if they wore Seahawks gear.
  • Former Washington State and current Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is just the second former Wazzu player to be named to the NBA All-Star Game.
Week Five Game Results
(Game results are listed vertically)
January 28, 2015
Oregon State
55
Oregon
56
Arizona State
73
Arizona
90
Stanford
84
Washington
74
California
76
Colorado
98
Washington State
67
USC
94
Utah
59
UCLA
69
Oregon
68
Oregon State
34
Arizona State
67
Arizona
57
January 31, 2015
Stanford
88
Colorado
59
Washington State
89
UCLA
72
February 1, 2015
California
90
Utah
67
Washington
88
USC
39
Team
O/All
Pac-12
Arizona
20-2
8-1
Utah
17-4
7-2
Stanford
15-6
6-3
Oregon
15-7
5-4
Oregon St
14-7
5-4
UCLA
13-9
5-4
Colorado
11-10
4-5
Washington St
10-11
4-5
Washington
14-7
3-6
California
13-9
3-6
Arizona St
11-11
3-6
USC
9-12
1-8

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