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Stanford holds on for victory over Utah

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POSTED January 12, 2012 11:07 p.m.

STANFORD (AP) — Josh Huestis was more rested than most of his Stanford teammates and took on added responsibility five days after participating in the longest game in school history.

Huestis scored all 13 of his points in the second half to lead Stanford past Utah 68-65 on Thursday night.

"This was Josh Huestis' best game," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins declared. "Not only did he score and rebound, but he was vocal. He was engaged in the game."

Huestis did not play a big role in the Cardinal's 103-101, four-overtime victory over Oregon State on Saturday. He was ready for action against the Utes, in the schools' first meeting since Utah beat Stanford in the Sweet 16 of the 1997 NCAA Tournament.

"Coach always tells us you have to be ready when your number is called," Huestis said. "I try to go out and rebound, play defense and play hard. It all fell together tonight."

Josh Owens (49 minutes against the Beavers) and Chasson Randle (44 minutes) each added 11 points for the Cardinal (14-3, 4-1 Pac-12) in a game featuring former NBA teammates as coaches.

"It is so important for our bench to be productive," Dawkins said. "A lot of guys weren't as focused as I've seen them, and that can be attributed to the hangover of a once-in-a-lifetime game. We have to have confidence in putting guys into the game."

Huestis rewarded his coach for the confidence.

Chris Hines scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Utes (4-12, 1-3), who remain winless in eight road games. Josh Watkins added 14 points.

Cedric Martin hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to bring the Utes within 66-63. Randle answered with a pair of free throws, but Dijon Farr hit a basket to make it 68-65. He missed the ensuing free throw but grabbed his own rebound, and the Utes missed two chances at tying the game in the final seconds.

"We didn't do a lot of little things, like missed block-outs on free throws," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "And whenever you are 1 for 9 from the free-throw line, well, you know about that."

Hines reached double figures in scoring for the first time in seven games after doing it in five of his first seven this season. His previous best was a 15-point performance at New Mexico last February.

Stanford looked in control when it took a 30-16 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. But the Utes shot themselves back into the game, thanks to Hines, and went on a 27-9 run that spanned both halves to ease ahead 43-39 with 15:24 remaining.

Utah made its first nine shots of the second half and scored 12 points off turnovers in that span.

Huestis, who also had 10 rebounds, made all six of his shots. He hit a 3-pointer that capped a 24-10 run for the Cardinal, giving them a 63-53 edge with 3:24 left and setting up the hectic final seconds.

"It was frustrating, no question," Hines said. "At the same time, we know we can score. The shots looked like they all could have gone in. At the end, we knew we weren't out of it, we just had to make shots quick."

The teams combined to go 6 of 26 from the foul line.

Dawkins and Krystkowiak, both selected in the 1986 NBA draft, were rookies together with the San Antonio Spurs.

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