Valentine's Day Massacre?

#12 Stanford (8-4, 15-6) at UW (2-11, 8-15) <br><br> February 14 - 7:05 PM (PST)<br> 1000 KOMO Radio<br> Bank of America Arena - Seattle, WA<br> Series: Stanford leads, 60-53<br> Last Meeting: January 19, 2002<br> Stanford 105, Washington 60

With three weeks left in the PAC-10 regular season, the six-team scrum that sits atop the conference standings can't really help it if they look ahead and find potential "weak spots" that could help them secure their place at the top of the heap.

For Stanford, that week -- or might we say, "weak" -- has come. And unfortunately, for Husky fans, the state of Washington houses "this weak in the PAC-10".

A look at the recent past history bleeds buckets of Cardinal red. Stanford has beaten Washington nine straight times by an average of 88-64, including that unconscionable 105-60 trouncing at Maples Pavilion on January 19. "There's always that chance of things unraveling," Husky coach Bob Bender would say later, "but you never expect a margin like that."

The 12th-ranked Cardinal ran out to a 20-point halftime lead, and extended it to 40 in the first eight minutes of the second half. Casey Jacobsen -- attempting to become the first Stanford player to lead the conference in scoring since Keith Jones in 1984 and a top candidate for national honors -- led the way with 21 points and Redmond's Curtis Borchardt added 19. Jacobsen has had a pair of 40-point efforts this season, including a conference-best 49 against Arizona State. And intriguing sidelight is that he could match up some with Washington's Doug Wrenn, the conference's second-leading scorer.

Borchardt, who leads the PAC-10 in rebounding and has double-doubles in four consecutive games, will be making a homecoming of sorts, along with Lynnwood's Teyo Johnson and Mercer Island's Tyler Besecker. But Stanford coach Mike Montgomery thinks it shouldn't be an added distraction for them. "Maybe there's a little more added focus to not fail," Montgomery says, "but I don't think that (playing in your hometown as a visitor) affects the way you play."

Montgomery is 24-8 lifetime against Washington in 16 seasons, including 9-6 in games played in Seattle. He was just named an assistant coach for the USA team that will play in the 2002 FIBA World Championships.

Washington, who still harbors slim hopes of taking the conference tournament's eight-seed away from Oregon State in the last three weeks (the two teams will meet in Corvallis next week), needs desperately to take at least one of these two home games against the Bay Area schools to keep that hope alive.

Stanford will next move on to Pullman to face Washington State, a team they've only beaten 11 times in a row by an average of 77-56. And at 8-4 in conference play, along with their Bay Area rival California, nothing less than a sweep of the bottom-feeding Washington schools will be seen as a satisfactory weekend.

GAME NOTE: Prior to the Cal contest on Saturday, the University of Washington will honor the 11 members of the Husky All-Century team. They range from Bruno Boin and Bob Houbregs of the 50's to Detlef Schrempf and Chris Welp of the 80's. The oldest member is Jack Nichols (1944, 1947-58) and the newest is Todd MacCulloch (1996-99). The list includes seven centers.
PROBABLE STARTERS:
WASHINGTON     CL   HT   PTS  REB   STANFORD          CL   HT   PTS  REB
Doug Wrenn     SO  6-8  20.4  6.2   Casey Jacobsen    JR  6-6  22.0  4.3
Grant Leep     SR  6-7   7.9  4.1   Joe Kirchofer     SO  6-9   2.8  2.2
David Dixon    SR  6-11  8.0  7.8   Curtis Borchardt  JR  7-0  16.7 11.1
Curtis Allen   SO  6-0  12.0  4.6*  Julius Barnes     JR  6-1  10.8  2.3
CJ Massingale  SO  6-4   4.7  2.8   Tony Giovacchini  JR  6-2   3.9  2.4
(* = Assists)

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