The No. 1 Stanford Cardinal will face off against the No. 11 Oregon Ducks at 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The game will be held in Santa Cruz, Calif. following Santa Clara County’s ban on indoor sports due to COVID-19 problems. The teams will play in Kaiser Permanente Arena, which is the home of the Santa Cruz Warriors, the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Although Oregon has beaten Stanford in three-straight meetings and has won six of the last seven meetings, Stanford appears to be the better team. This Oregon team, while impressive, is young and still has a way to go while Stanford is a veteran team with a dash of outstanding young players led by sophomore Haley Jones.
Stanford is coming off of a 68-60 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils, their narrowest win of the season, this past Sunday. The Cardinal feature five players who average in double figures: Jones (14.9 points per game), Francesca Belibi (12.6), Kiana Williams (11.8), Lexie Hull (11.1) and freshman role player Cameron Brink (11.9).
The Ducks lost to the UCLA Bruins the last time they took court, which was also on Sunday. They are bolstered by senior Erin Boley and junior Maryland transfer Taylor Mikesell, both of whom are shooting over 45 percent from beyond the arc. Redshirt sophomore Nyara Sabally has scored in double figures in five of Oregon’s seven conference games this season. Freshman guard Te-Hina Paopao has proven to be quite the find by head coach Kelly Graves. Paopao is averaging 12.1 points and leads the team with 4.6 assists per contest.
Here’s what to expect from the matchup and how to watch:
No. 11 Oregon Ducks (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12)
When: Friday, Jan. 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, CA
What to watch: The Ducks were outrebounded by the Bruins in their loss and were matched in made 3-point shots. The Cardinal outrebound their opponents by about 16 rebounds per contest and make eight 3-point shots per game, which should allow them to keep pace with the Ducks who average nine made 3-point shots. The Ducks will need to protect the rim if they want to secure an upset win.