PALO ALTO, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – Sedrick Barefield got hot at just the right time, and the Utes basketball team pulled out a key Pac-12 road victory.
Barefield scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 37 seconds, and Utah beat Stanford 70-66 on Thursday night, its first win at Maples Pavilion as a member of the Pac-12.
“Effort-wise, we really brought it on the defensive end,” Utah coach Larry Krystowiak said. ”We got enough stops and Sedrick hit the two big 3’s. In the second half, it was just enough offense, but it was kind of what we expected, a dogfight.”
Barefield made four of five three-point attempts, including back-to-back shots from beyond the arc in the second half as the Utes erased a six-point deficit.
”I told Sedrick at halftime to `Button it down, and from a personal point of view, get me a win,”’ Krystowiak said. ”He led us offensively, that’s for sure.”
Donnie Tillman added 11 points for the Utes (10-8, 4-2), who won their season-high third straight and four of six overall.
KZ Okpala scored 22 points to lead the Cardinal (9-10, 2-5), which lost its fifth out of the last seven. Daejon Davis added 17 points.
Parker Van Dyke, who had 10 points, made a lay-up with 55 seconds left to give Utah the lead for good. Jayce Johnson was a point away from a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Stanford opened the second half with a 12-3 run to overtake the Utes at 38-35 and maintained its advantage until Utah scored eight unanswered points to take a lead and the game swayed back and forth the rest of the way.
Marcus Sheffield hit a 3-pointer to give Stanford a 23-18 lead with 4:50 left in the first half.
Utah, which hit seven of its final nine shots, outscored the Cardinal 13-3 the rest of the way and took a 31-26 advantage into halftime.
The Utes defense forced 13 turnovers and held the Cardinal to just 43 percent shooting.
Both Gach added 9 points, as Utah made 47 percent of its shots from the field.
Utah had lost six straight in Maples Pavilion and last won at Stanford in 1971.
The Utes improve to 10-8 overall, and 4-2 in Pac-12 play, and will go for a Bay Area sweep Saturday night at Cal.