In The Pac 10 Race

Behind its home-court dominance, Stanford remains very much in the Pac-10 title race.

The eighth-ranked Cardinal look to win 15 home games in a season for the first time in school history and boost their conference title hopes Thursday against Washington, which hasn't won at Maples Pavilion in 15 years.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Stanford -11 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Stanford -11 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

After finishing sixth in the Pac-10 last season, Stanford (22-4, 11-3) is one game behind first-place UCLA with four games to play. The Cardinal would move into a tie for the conference lead Thursday if they win this game and the No. 4 Bruins lose at Arizona State.

The Pac-10 regular season title could be at stake when Stanford, which hasn't won the league championship since 2004, visits UCLA next Thursday.

The Cardinal have stayed in the Pac-10 title hunt thanks greatly to their 14-1 record at Maples Pavilion, with the only loss coming to the Bruins in the conference opener on Jan. 3. Six other Stanford teams have won 14 home games in a season - most recently in 2003-04 - but no team in school history has finished with 15 home victories.

The Cardinal have two more chances to do it. Before closing its home schedule Saturday against No. 22 Washington State, Stanford hosts a Huskies team which has lost 14 straight at Maples since a 68-67 win on Jan. 30, 1993.

Washington (15-13, 6-9) has lost seven of the 10 games it has played away from home this season, and fell 65-51 at home to Stanford on Jan. 31. The Cardinal have not swept the season series since 2001-02.

Stanford is coming off a 79-69 home victory over California on Sunday, its ninth win in 10 games.

The Cardinal held Cal's Ryan Anderson, the conference's leading scorer (21.8 points per game), to 2-for-13 shooting and 15 points - none in the first half.

"We were resilient in this game, thankfully," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "They're so good offensively, and we knew what to expect, but we responded well to their surges."

The Cardinal are holding opponents to a conference-low 38.8 percent from the field this season and had their best such performance against the Huskies, limiting them to 28.8 percent. Washington is the second-worst shooting team in the Pac-10 at 44.7 percent.

Stanford's Brook Lopez had a career-high 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds against the Huskies last month, as no other Cardinal player scored more than eight points.

Lopez is averaging 20.4 points and 8.1 boards in his last seven games.

His twin brother, Robin Lopez, had 11 points on Sunday and is averaging 12.4 in his last five games after averaging 6.6 points in his first nine conference games.

Washington lost to Arizona State 77-63 on Saturday after winning three of its previous four games. The Huskies could have jumped into fifth place in the conference with a win over the Sun Devils, but they are now tied for eighth with Oregon.

"We just blew it. We could have passed up four teams with this game today," junior forward Jon Brockman said. "Man, I wish I knew why we didn't come to play."

Brockman had 21 points and 15 rebounds on Saturday for his sixth straight double-double. He scored 13 points - about five below his team-leading average - on 4-of-12 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds against the Cardinal last month.

The Huskies are 2-6 against ranked opponents this season, including a 71-61 victory over then-No. 5 UCLA on Feb. 10.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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