Stanford's Brandon Angel Helps It Beat Utah 73-62 in the Pac-12 First Round

Stanford's Brandon Angel Helps It Beat Utah 73-62 in the Pac-12 First Round


Angel helps Stanford beat Utah 7362 in Pac 12 first round

On Wednesday in Las Vegas, Brandon Angel's double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds powered 10th-seeded Stanford to a 73-62 win over seventh-seeded Utah in the opening round of the Pac 12 Tournament. Harrison Ingram added 15 points for Stanford (14-18), who will now face second-seeded and eighth-ranked Arizona on Thursday.

Maxime Raynaud

On Wednesday night, Stanford swept Utah 73-62 in the first round of the Pac 12 tournament thanks to an outstanding performance by their 7-1 center. Maxime Raynaud led Stanford with 16 points and eight rebounds while making 6-of-9 shots from beyond the arc.

He had two foul shots late in the game after getting called for a flagrant foul, yet he never let that get to him. Instead, he went back to the free-throw line seconds later and knocked down both of his foul shots with 13 seconds remaining in play.

He then put together another impressive second half performance to lead Stanford to victory. In all, he scored 11 points during the final 14:57 of play - including a 3-pointer that helped the Cardinal take an early 47-36 lead with 11:30 remaining.

Between the Utes and Cardinal, it was a fiercely-fought battle for victory. Unfortunately for Utah, two late turnovers sealed their fate. Both teams combined to make just 14 of their 24 field-goal attempts and three of their 15 3-pointers during this contest.

Early in the second half, Branden Carlson hit a three-pointer to pull Utah within 34-27 with 9:55 remaining. But they never got closer than nine again and Stanford held onto their lead throughout the remainder of the game.

Impact In the second half, Raynaud upped his game even more, scoring 19 points (5-8 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), collecting 11 rebounds, dishing out two assists and blocking one shot in 35 minutes. He will look to continue this success against UCLA on Thursday.

Stanford is gearing up for conference play, giving him the opportunity to assume a larger role. The 7-1 center has started four games this season and averaged 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block in 15.8 minutes per contest. He could also come off the bench this Friday against Oregon.

Spencer Jones

The Pac-12 boasts many excellent teams, but only a select few will likely advance to the NCAA tournament. That is why winning your conference tournament, especially in the initial rounds, is so crucial.

The Cardinal opened up a tight game against Utah with an 8-0 run early in the second half, giving them a commanding 14-2 lead. That streak included three 3-pointers from Brandon Angel, Maxime Raynaud's dunk and Spencer Jones' three-pointer.

Stanford had an impressive start to the second half and set a strong tone for the rest of the game. They kept Utah on their heels with excellent ball movement and multiple scoring chances. Stanford kept up the pressure throughout, keeping Utah guessing until their chances fell just right. It was an excellent way to begin the second half.

Jerod Haase expects his players to demonstrate these traits. When they do, he expects them to play freely and involve everyone in the action.

He also wants them to come out strong and keep their focus on the task at hand. That strategy worked against Utah in the first round and will be key when they take on Arizona on Wednesday.

They must be better prepared for Arizona to come out fired up and motivated than they were against Utah. If they can continue moving the ball efficiently and get everyone involved, there's a good chance they'll have an opportunity at winning this one.

If they can't do that, the game will turn into a struggle for intensity on the glass and how well their defense matches up against Utah's 6-4 center Branden Carlson. He's an impressive big man who averages 16.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and just over two blocks per game for Utah. If they can't do that, expect this matchup to become increasingly physical on both ends of the court.

At the end of their regular season, Utah had a five-game losing streak that severely hindered their hopes for an NIT bid. However, five key players returned who saw significant action last year. If they want to make a deep run in the conference tournament, defense must improve; however, this team still has plenty of potential.

They must do a better job of pressing Stanford in the second half. While they were able to keep Utah off the fast break, they need to slow down Stanford and not allow them to quicken the game's pace.

Michael O’Connell

On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Angel was the star of Stanford's 73-62 win against Utah in the Pac 12 tournament. With 16 points and 12 rebounds, he helped the 10th-seeded Cardinal advance to the quarterfinals of this year's conference tournament.

At his sophomore season, O'Connell has started all 28 games for Stanford and led the team with 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. On defense, he finished with 1.5 blocks per game this year.

His last four games have seen him average 16.3 points (75 percent FG), five rebounds and 2.8 assists. He will look to carry that same energy into Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against Arizona.

He has made several impressive plays this year, particularly on the defensive end. His ability to hit tough shots will be key in leading Stanford into the quarterfinals. Furthermore, he was an excellent facilitator for his teammates on Thursday as he handed out six assists in order for them to secure their second consecutive win.

O'Connell, who is in his final year of college eligibility, has been the top scorer in the conference for four years and an integral part of Stanford's success this season. A member of the Pac-12 All-Tournament team, O'Connell will attempt to lead his team to its eighth straight victory during Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against Arizona in Las Vegas.

The 6-8 junior has been on fire recently, averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 35.5 minutes per game over Stanford's last three matches. Now he hopes to put his team back on track for a potential title run in the Pac 12 tournament.

On Saturday night, He had a career-high 25 points in a loss to Oregon. He shot 6-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, while also contributing two rebounds, an assist and one steal over 29 minutes of action. With such an impact this season for Stanford, it is clear why they need him on their roster.

He finished with a team-high 21 points and was an integral factor in Stanford's win against Washington on Sunday, hitting 7 of 13 shots from the field. For the season, he has averaged 13.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 28.5 minutes played; looking to continue improving as he nears his senior year this year.

Harrison Ingram

Stanford is one of the most talented young teams in the Pac-12 Conference, and Harrison Ingram plays an integral role. He's averaging 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game - earning him recognition as Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

On Wednesday night, Ingram was a key factor in Stanford's 73-62 victory against Utah in the Pac 12 Tournament First Round. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds to lead all scorers.

He was a major factor in the Cardinals' second half, especially after his three-pointer gave them an 11 point advantage with 10 minutes left to play. With his dunk and rebounding, the team maintained its double-digit lead throughout the remainder of play.

The Utes had numerous chances to take the lead during this game, but couldn't capitalize on any of them. After making three straight shots in the second half, Utah pulled within 58-48 on Stefanovic's 3-pointer with six minutes remaining in regulation.

But the Utes didn't have a great game from the field and couldn't hit their free throws. Furthermore, they missed the last two baskets needed to tie it up.

After Utah had closed to 68-56, Ingram made an incredible comeback and hit a key foul shot for a 65-51 lead. With 3:36 remaining, he added another big basket inside and hit another free throw from the line for a 12-point double-double.

His performance was truly remarkable, made even more so by the fact that it came against an incredibly tough Utah team who had just lost to UCLA on Saturday. They had defeated Arizona in February but were only 7-6 in their last 13 conference games.

Utah's disjointed, turnover-filled performance put any hopes of a late comeback to rest. Still, they managed to maintain an edge that proved hard to break - just enough for them to remain alive in the tournament.

On Thursday, Stanford will take on Arizona in the next round of the Pac 12 Tournament with a chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament if they can defeat the Wildcats again. That's great news for Stanford and all fans within the Conference.

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