Stanford Looks For Road Sweep, Postseason Momentum Saturday At Arizona
March 6, 2009
Stanford Cardinal (17-11, 6-11 Pac-10)
Arizona Wildcats (18-12, 8-9 Pac-10)
The Opening Tip
Fresh off its first Pac-10 road win of the year, Stanford (17-11, 6-11 Pac-10) is now looking for a road sweep in the desert. Thursday's 74-64 win at No. 21/21 Arizona State snapped a nine-game road losing streak in conference play dating back to a 67-66 win at Arizona back on Feb. 16, 2008. Stanford's most recent Pac-10 road sweep came last year with wins at Washington and Washington State.
Saturday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the chemistry-rich tandem of Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and John Platz (analyst). The contest will be televised by FSN Arizona, with Dave Sitton (play-by-play), Bob Elliott (analyst) and Sean Mooney (sideline) providing coverage.
It's been an up-and-down season for Arizona (18-12, 8-9 Pac-10), which is coming off an 83-77 loss to California two nights ago. The Wildcats started 9-3 before dropping five of their next seven games. Arizona then pieced together a seven-game winning streak to boost its postseason hopes, but has now lost four in a row. Arizona suffered a tough 83-78 loss at Pac-10 leader Washington last weekend prior to Thursday. The offensive-minded Wildcats, 13-3 at home this year, average 71.8 points per game and shoot 47.2 percent from the field and 39.4 from three-point territory. Make sure to watch: Jordan Hill (18.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 55.4 percent from the field, 55 blocks), Chase Budinger (17.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 59-141 three-pointers, 112-137 free throws, 43 steals), and Nic Wise (14.6 ppg, 57-137 three-pointers, 96-113 free throws, 135 assists).
Stanford All-Time vs. Arizona
Arizona owns a 48-29 all-time advantage in the series, which dates back to the 1937-38 campaign. After sweeping all three meetings last year (home, road, Pac-10 Tournament quarters) and posting a 76-60 victory at Maples Pavilion in this year's earlier contest, Stanford has won four in a row after a six-game losing streak to the Wildcats. Close games have been the norm, with 16 of the last 20 contests decided by 10 points or less.
Who To Watch Against Arizona
Lawrence Hill has performed well against Arizona, averaging 10.8 points per game on 48.7 percent (38-78) shooting from the field in nine career contests. Mitch Johnson's 35 rebounds and 41 points against the Wildcats are his most against any Pac-10 foe. After posting the first double-double (19 pts., 12 reb.) of his career in the first meeting this year, Landry Fields is 12-25 from the field with five triples in six games.
For just the second time since a 10-game winning streak to open the year, Stanford has won back-to-back games following its most recent victories against USC (75-63) and Arizona State (74-64). The Cardinal also won two in a row in mid-January, defeating California (75-69) and Oregon (77-55) in consecutive games.
Moving Up The Charts
With four assists against Arizona State on Mar. 5, Mitch Johnson increased his career total to 502 and is now one of three players in school history to reach the 500-assist plateau, joining Brevin Knight (780) and Keith Ramee (513).
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