Palo Alto, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Stanford Cardinal will face their third Top-25 opponent of the season, as they play host to the 21st-ranked Washington Huskies in a Pac-12 matchup at Maples Pavilion on Sunday night.
Johnny Dawkins' Cardinal have split their two games against ranked foes this season, losing to Duke (70-59) in late November and then edging out Texas (74-71 OT) just before Christmas. The win over the Longhorns began the team's current three-game win streak, which includes opening up Pac-12 play on Friday with a 71-56 win over Washington State.
Lorenzo Romar's Huskies began the season with 11 straight victories to earn their way into the Top-25. That may not be for too much longer though, as Washington has dropped back-to-back games. It started with a shocking 62-57 loss to Stony Brook and carried into Pac-12 play with Friday's 81-75 loss at California.
Stanford holds a narrow 71-69 lead in the all-time series with Washington, with the Huskies closing the gap with wins in eight of the last 10 meetings, including the last one, a 64-60 decision last February.
The Huskies simply couldn't contain Cal's Jordan Mathews, who erupted for 31 points in leading the Golden Bears to victory at home on Friday. Washington also had a tough time with Cal's David Kravish, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in knocking off UW. The setback spoiled a terrific performance by Nigel Williams-Goss, who had a near triple-double with 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Three other Huskies joined Williams-Goss in scoring double digits, with Robert Upshaw putting up 16 points off the bench, followed by Jernard Jarreau and Andrew Andrews, with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Williams-Goss is the key to Washington's success this season. The sophomore guard is picking up right where he left off last year (All-Pac 12 freshman selection), as he is both a potent scorer and deft distributor, leading the team in both categories with 14.0 points and 6.8 assists per outing. Andrews (11.8 ppg) and Upshaw (11.2 ppg) are also sporting double-figure scoring totals, with Upshaw leading the team in rebounding (7.5 rpg). Shawn Kemp Jr. (9.8 ppg) is eager to join the group.
The Cardinal possess a veteran nucleus, as the starting lineup features three seniors and two juniors. One of those seniors is star guard Chasson Randle, who is among the Pac-12's most explosive scorers at a hefty 18.4 ppg. Fifth- year seniors Stefan Nastic and Anthony Brown provide stability up front. The 6-11 Nastic is converting 50 percent of his shots and is averaging 14.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Brown, a 6-6 swingman, nets 13.9 ppg and is tops on the team in rebounding with 7.1 rpg.
Stanford took a three-point lead into halftime (27-24) and distanced itself from Washington State by shooting a scorching .640 from the floor over the final 20 minutes to earn a 15-point victory in its Pac-12 opener. Randle poured in a game-high 18 points. Nastic added 16 to the cause, while Brown recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Rosco Allen completed the top scoring threats for Stanford, with 10 points off the bench.