STANFORD, Calif. — Being a senior leader, Utah guard Sedrick Barefield says he relishes opportunities like he had Thursday night in the final minutes of the Utes’ game against Stanford.
With his team down four points, Barefield hit back-to-back 3-pointers from out front to put the Utes ahead with about five minutes left, then in the final 37 seconds he sank four straight free throws to clinch the 70-66 victory over the Cardinal.
“That’s just the competitor in me,” he said. “I like to have the ball in my hands at the end of the game.”
The Utes had trailed by six points when Charles Jones made a lay-up, then stole the ball. Barefield pulled up and swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then 30 seconds later hit a shot from nearly the same spot.
It almost looked like Barefield was taking the game into his own hands, but his coach said the plays were designed.
“That’s what we were encouraging him to do,” said coach Larry Krystkowiak. “It’s a play we named after a former player where the 5-man comes up and sets a screen.”
“Me and Jayce (Johnson) were in tandem at that point,” said Barefield. “He set another ball screen and I was able to pull up.”
Barefield finished with a team-high 18 points, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range and a perfect 4 of 4 from the foul line. He only got nine field goal tries on the night, but that’s because of Stanford’s tough defense, said Krystkowiak.
“Give Stanford a lot of credit — they came out and took Sedrick out and were physical with us,” he said.
“They were face-guarding me and not letting me touch the ball at all,” added Barefield.
Krystkowiak said he gave Barefield a little pep talk at halftime after he had only scored five points in the first half.
“I told Sedrick at halftime you’ve got to button it down here and get me a win. This was his last time here and chance to get us a win, and he led offensively for sure.”2 comments on this story
GAME NOTES: The Utes and Cardinal will not play again this year unless they meet in the Pac-12 tournament. Stanford and Cal are the teams the Utes play only on the road, while Oregon and Oregon State, next week’s opponents, are the two they play only at home. … With the victory, the Utes improved to 21-13 all-time against Stanford. … Stanford came into the game No. 3 in the conference and No. 30 in the country in blocked shots, and blocked 10 Utah shots on the night. … The Cardinal also won the rebounding battle 36-29. … Both teams had 13 turnovers and 15 fouls. … Former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery, who was Krystkowiak’s college coach at Montana, was on hand for the game.