Stanford Looking to Get Back Into Pac-10 Race As They Host Arizona State

Jan 31, 2002

Stanford begins a critical four-game homestand at Maples Pavilion as it playhost to Arizona State on Thursday.

The 18th-ranked Cardinal (12-5, 5-3 Pac-10) chances of staying in the huntfor a conference title will be determined in its next four games. After ArizonaState, Stanford will face No. 18 Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State.

'This four-game stretch is really crucial. We haven't seen the Arizonaschools yet this season. It's important for anyone who wants to stay on top ofthis thing (first place in the Pac-10) to win their games at home,' Stanfordcoach Mike Montgomery said. 'The road games are tough enough in this league,and when you think about it, home games aren't always a guarantee either.'

Stanford is coming off a 90-82 defeat at No. 23 USC on Saturday, a sloppyand costly defeat to a league rival.

'We had 27 turnovers, they got 31 points off turnovers, that's all thatneed be said,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'We had a fundamentalbreakdown.

Casey Jacobsen led the Cardinal with 21 points - all but five in the secondhalf. He also had seven rebounds and six assists, but committed seventurnovers.

Stanford's Curtis Borchardt, averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.6blocked shots, didn't play because of a right hip pointer, he expects to playon Thursday against Arizona State.

'Its a bruise, not a broken bone,' Montgomery said. 'It will be painfulfor a week or more, but its not something that will cause further damage. Itsjust a matter of dealing with the pain.'

Stanford holds a 26-24 advantage over Arizona State, and has won the lasteight games against the Sun Devils, including six of the last seven games atMaples Pavilion.

The Sun Devils (11-7, 4-5) are coming off an impressive 88-72 win overthen-No. 10 Arizona on Wednesday.

Chad Prewitt, who has paced the offense in nine of the past 10 games, isaveraging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebound in conference play. He is the only playerin the league who ranks in the top 10 in scoring (second), rebounding (seventh)and assists (10th) in conference games.

'Their guys are all very intense and give nothing away for free. ArizonaState is a team with pretty good depth, and all of their players do a good jobof hustling around,' said Montgomery. 'They rotate well on defense and do alot of little things that make them a good club.'

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