STANFORD — Stanford has known for months this upcoming stretch would tell a lot about the team and where it stands just before the start of Pac-12 Conference play.
First, the Cardinal play at Connecticut on Wednesday, then it’s off to New York to face Michigan in Brooklyn three days later, next Saturday.
Their tune-up following finals wasn’t bad.
Chasson Randle connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half on the way to 16 points, and Stanford returned from a 13-day break for exams with a balanced 83-56 rout of cold-shooting UC Davis Saturday night.
Randle made 5 of 6 3s, while Anthony Brown added two from long range and 15 points for the Cardinal (7-2), who made 11 of 20 3-pointers in all and held a 35-32 advantage on the boards.
Now, they head to the wintry East Coast, and coach Johnny Dawkins is eager to see how Stanford fares in a pair of big preseason tests.
“That’s how we prepared our schedule. We wanted to play these games before conference started,” Dawkins said. “It’s very important for us going into conference play to play teams similar to what we’re going to see. We’ve scheduled that way.”
He has to like the Cardinal’s balance and the way they’re sharing the ball. Stanford had 22 assists to 12 turnovers Saturday.
Josh Huestis had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and matched his season high with four blocked shots as the Cardinal won their second straight game since having a four-game winning streak snapped against Pittsburgh on Nov. 26.
Huestis swatted two shots in the opening 4:17 to give him 144 for his career. He then added two more blocks to move into a tie for third place on Stanford’s career list with Curtis Borchardt (146).
“They have size, skill, and they come at you in a number of different ways,” UC Davis coach Jim Les said.
Dwight Powell had 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals for his second double-double this season. Two others scored at least six points as the Cardinal earned their fifth straight victory in the series with the fellow Northern California program.