Around the League: Jan. 28
(Kristie-Valerie Hoang/Daily Bruin senior staff)
Sam Connon, Sports editor
Home court advantage continues to be a factor in the Pac-12 in every city besides Corvallis.
In the 10 men’s basketball games between Pac-12 teams last weekend, the host teams went 8-2, with Oregon State picking up the only two losses. The Beavers failed to top 58 points in either game, and they fell into a tie for last place in the conference following four straight losses.
USC – which beat Oregon State on Saturday – went 1-1 on the weekend after losing to then-No. 12 Oregon 79-70 in double overtime Thursday. The Ducks held onto the top spot in the conference with a home sweep over the Trojans and Bruins, led by National Player of the Year contender guard Payton Pritchard and guard Chris Duarte, who put up 27 points, 8.5 rebounds and seven steals per game over the weekend.
The only other ranked team in the Pac-12 is No. 20 Colorado, which picked up two double-digit victories over the Washington schools. Washington State ended the weekend in 10th, and Washington stayed put in last.
Arizona started the weekend as the conference’s third team in the AP Top 25, but it slipped out after losing to in-state rival Arizona State 66-65 on Saturday.
California defended its home court and picked up the victory in its Bay Area rivalry game against Stanford, a team that has lost back-to-back games after opening conference play 4-0.
Coral Smith, assistant Sports editor
Six Pac-12 teams competed in dual meets against each other over the weekend, and two of those three matchups ended in upsets.
Then-No. 5 Utah hosted Arizona State on Friday night, and came away from its Pac-12 opener with a season-high score of 197.050, almost a full three points better than the Sun Devils’ 194.300.
Arizona State did not score above a 9.850 in the loss, while at least one Utah gymnast scored a 9.900 or higher on each event.
The next afternoon, then-No. 24 Washington served No. 10 California with its first dual-meet loss of the season. The Golden Bears crossed the 197.00 mark for the second weekend in a row behind a 49.400 uneven bars score, but their 197.075 team score was not enough to beat out the Huskies’ 197.225, the first time Washington has hit 197.000 since March 9, 2018.
While the Golden Bears were leading by .100 points going into the final rotation, the Huskies collected three scores of 9.900 or higher on floor to pull ahead and complete the upset, moving them up to No. 11 in the national rankings.
Sunday afternoon also saw an upset, as then-No. 22 Arizona lost to unranked Oregon State 196.400-196.150. Both teams finished with season-high scores on three of four events, as the Beavers came from behind to win the meet after trailing halfway through.
Despite the loss, Arizona’s season-high score moved it up to No. 21 nationally, with Oregon State also breaking into the top-25 at No. 25.
Women’s water polo
Jack Perez, assistant Sports editor
MPSF women’s water polo had all seven teams compete for the first time this season.
No. 2 Stanford, No. 6 California and No. 18 San Jose State all played at the Cal Cup in Berkeley this weekend. The only conference game occurred when the Spartans defeated the Bears 9-8, avenging a 12-6 loss for San Jose State earlier in the year.
Stanford avoided playing both of its conference opponents but faced No. 3 UC Irvine in the weekend finale. Driver Sarah Klass scored four times and helped the Cardinal battle back from a 3-1 deficit to come out with a 10-9 victory.
No. 5 UCLA and No. 23 Indiana both traveled to Ann Arbor for the Michigan Invitational. While the Bruins won all four of their matchups, the Hoosiers fell in both of their Saturday games before rebounding to win twice Sunday.
No. 1 USC began its season at the Lancer Joust in Riverside. The Trojans went up against two unranked squads and won by an average score of 21-2 over their two games.
No. 10 Arizona State also started its 2020 campaign this past weekend, playing twice against newly formed Ottawa University-Arizona. The Sun Devils prevailed 20-3 in the first match before winning by 19-4 in their second contest.