NCAA

Stanford finds no answers for Colorado in blowout loss

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USATSI

Stanford finds no answers for Colorado in blowout loss

BOX SCORE

BOULDER, Colo. -- Passing the ball with aplomb and showing a zeal for sharing the load offensively brought out the best in Colorado.

Lucas Siewert, George King and Xavier Johnson each scored 15 points and Colorado pulled away in the second half to beat Stanford 91-72 Thursday night.

Wesley Gordon, Deleon Brown and Tory Miller added 10 points apiece as part of a balanced offense that carried the Buffaloes (17-13, 7-10 Pac-12) to their eighth consecutive victory against Stanford (14-15, 6-11).

"When you have 25 assists and six turnovers, you're hopefully going to win a lot of game," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. "We really shared the ball tonight. Togetherness on offense was big-time. I think this team showed when we play together, because we don't have one guy that can carry this squad, when we play together and share it offensively and play with energy and passion defensively, this team can be as good as they want to be and beat any team in our league. But we've also shown when we don't, we're very average."

The Buffaloes were anything but average against the Cardinal, outshooting Stanford from the floor 56 percent to 45 percent. They did it by being patient and getting the ball to the open man.

"We've been talking all week about sharing the ball, getting the best shot," said Derrick White, who had eight of Colorado's assists to go with his nine points. "When we're moving the ball like that and no one has an agenda and no one is hunting their shots, we're hard to guard and getting easy looks. It's something we need to continue to do."

Stanford coach Jerod Haase said the Cardinal had all kinds of problems with Colorado, especially defensively.

"They outplayed us in every statistical category," he said. "It definitely started on the defensive end with the inability to guard. We weren't guarding their three-point shooters and they were able to spread out and have their way."

Marcus Allen had 15 points to lead the Cardinal. Reid Travis added 14 points.

Up by six at the half, Colorado seized control of the game with a stunning barrage of baskets starting the second half.

The 3-1/2 minute flurry in which Colorado outscored Stanford 16-5 carried the Buffaloes to a 57-40 lead and featured a driving dunk by Gordon and 3-pointers King and Johnson.

Stanford trailed 65-49 when Colorado took off again on a 10-2 run, ignited by Brown's 3-pointer and the Buffaloes' lead mushroomed to 23 points with 9 minutes remaining. Stanford did not threaten the rest of the way.

Colorado took a 41-35 lead at halftime, breaking away from a 28-all tie by outscoring Stanford 13-7 in the last four minutes of the period. Brown, King and Siewert all hit 3-pointers for Colorado in that span.

HOME COOKING

Colorado coach Tad Boyle registered his 100th win at the Coors Events Center, where he has gone 100-18 in seven seasons.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: The Cardinal's inconsistent play this season again came to the fore against Colorado, absorbing a 19-point loss after pushing No. 6 Oregon to the limit before losing 75-73 last week. Stanford played the Buffaloes close for most of the first half but crumbled in the second half.

Colorado: The Buffaloes moved into a seventh-place tie with Arizona State in the conference standings and will go into the Pac-12 tournament anywhere from the No. 7-10 seed. Colorado has recovered nicely from its 0-7 start in Pac-12 play, going 7-3 in its last 10 games with one regular season game remaining.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Rounds out the regular season by visiting Utah on Saturday.

Colorado: Hosts California on Saturday afternoon in a regular season finale.

From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

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From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

Stanford has a penchant for recruiting the overachieving student-athlete. Even among those standards, Harrison Phillips is a rare find. The senior defensive tackle helps feed the homeless every Friday morning at a local shelter. He often visits the kids in the oncology ward at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He was named to the Pac-12 All Academic First Team and will graduate in December with a double major and a minor. He is a team captain and heir apparent to Solomon Thomas, the 49ers third overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

“One thing you love about Harrison is, every day he’s going to get something done,” head coach David Shaw told NBC Sports Bay Area. “On the field, off the field, in the community, he’s always got a million things going on. But nothing ever suffers.

"He does everything at a high level.”

At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Phillips is a mountain of a man. His skill set is different than that of Thomas, but he can be just as disruptive. He plays over the center. He plays over the guards. His self-proclaimed job is to eat as many blocks as possible to keep the linebackers free.

“He’s such that hard point for us. He’s that guy up front that’s getting knock back, that force in the run game that you gotta have,” defensive coordinator Lance Anderson explained. “You have to have that strong solid point in the middle of your defense, and he provides that.”

Phillips had a game-high 11 tackles, five of them solo, in the Cardinal’s loss to USC. No other defensive lineman on the field had more than three.

“He’s outstanding against the run. He’s a very good pass rusher,” Shaw added. “He’s got a lot of tools that can work inside.”

Phillips main instruments of domination are strength, knowledge of leverage and abnormal flexibility for a man of his size.

“He can do the splits on command,” Thomas said laughing from in front of his locker after a recent 49ers practice. “He loves showing it off. We get on him for it. But he loves doing it.

And, according to Thomas, his former Stanford teammate loves to bench. So it comes as no surprise that Phillips’ upper body strength stands out.

“He’ll be really low in a position that you think he’d get knocked over in,” Thomas explained. “Because of how flexible he is, it’s not a problem for him to get in that position and stay there and move on from there. It definitely shows up on his film.”

No doubt, Phillips says, that ability comes from his wrestling experience. His high school curriculum vitae includes, “Nebraska State Wrestling Champion, Heavy Weight Division, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.”

Phillips first year on The Farm, he vividly remembers his Stanford coaches testing him. Just a mere 245 pounds at the time, they put him up against Joshua Garnett and Andrus Peat, two offensive linemen now in the NFL and each well over 300 pounds.

“They’d double team me, almost 700 pounds on you, and I would somehow find leverage and be able to sit on some of those double teams,” Phillips said. “I think the violence that wrestling brings, and balance and being comfortable in weird positions, wrestling has a ton of scrambling, as it's called, you just know your body and know what you can do. I have tremendous flexibility, and I use everything to my advantage.”

One thing Phillips is not allowed to do is use his explosiveness away from the football field. At one time, Phillips could do a back flip off the wall, but he no longer attempts it.

“I’m not a big fan of the back hand springs,” Shaw said. “I’d like for him to stay on his feet.”

Phillips doesn’t argue. He lost his entire sophomore year to a knee injury, and doesn’t want to risk another. He has NFL aspirations and put himself in position to graduate in three-and-a-half years should he choose to enter the 2018 draft. But just as he has done at Stanford, he is looking to be more than just a name on a jersey should he play on a professional level.

“I want to build something that is really lasting,” Phillips said of his life goal, “and put my name on something to touch people’s lives and change people’s lives, pay it forward as much as I can.”

No. 6 USC routs No. 14 Stanford for 11th straight win

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USASTI

No. 6 USC routs No. 14 Stanford for 11th straight win

LOS ANGELES  — Steven Mitchell and Deontay Burnett caught two touchdown passes apiece from Sam Darnold, and No. 6 Southern California extended its winning streak to 11 games with a bruising 42-24 victory over No. 14 Stanford on Saturday night.

Darnold went 21 of 26 with 316 yards passing for the Trojans (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12), who snapped their three-game losing streak in this California private-school rivalry. USC racked up 623 total yards and won the first Pac-12 game of the new season by beating the hard-nosed Cardinal (1-1, 0-1) at their own physical game.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 116 yards and scored a touchdown in his ninth consecutive game as USC excelled at Stanford's traditional strengths, running the ball for 307 yards and controlling both lines of scrimmage. Turnovers and penalties by the Trojans kept it fairly close, but freshman Stephen Carr added 119 yards rushing, and Jones cartwheeled into the end zone with a clinching 23-yard TD run with 4:15 to play.

Keller Chryst passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Bryce Love had a 75-yard TD run among his 160 yards rushing for the Cardinal, who hadn't played since their season-opening win over Rice in Australia last month.

After a scoreless third quarter, USC made a 90-yard scoring drive capped by Mitchell's second TD on a feathery 11-yard TD pass by Darnold with 9:42 to play. Stanford stayed close with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside's TD catch with 6:41 to play, but Jones' incredible second TD run capped a smooth 75-yard drive in USC's 11th consecutive win at the Coliseum.

Stanford had won eight of its last 11 meetings with USC in a dominant stretch that began with its historic 2007 upset victory at the Coliseum.

After USC scored 49 points in its season opener, Darnold's offense again was in fine form from the start. USC scored four touchdowns on five lengthy drives in the first half, with Darnold hitting Burnett for two of his three TD passes.

USC moved 74 yards on two plays late in the half to take a 28-17 lead on Burnett's leaping 25-yard TD grab.

THE TAKEAWAY

Stanford: That 62-point performance in the season opener Down Under was impossible to replicate against a top Pac-12 defense, and the Cardinal's offense will know it must add versatility to the attack. Stanford's defense also had big problems at the line of scrimmage, and that isn't a problem with which the Cardinal have much experience.

USC: This talent-laden offense has appeared to have the makings of a juggernaut so far. Darnold returned to 2016 form with a smooth, poised performance against a vaunted conference opponent, while the Trojans' receivers appear to be much more reliable than coach Clay Helton feared. USC's defense also stepped up after halftime and shut down one of the Pac-12's best.

UP NEXT

Stanford: The Cardinal's three-game stretch away from home to open the season concludes at San Diego State.

USC: The Trojans welcome Texas to the Coliseum for a meeting of two powerhouse programs.