The Stanford Cardinal jumped all over the third-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils Thursday night, turning a close game into a rout in the second half on the way to a 79-58 win in the Pac-12 Conference tournament quarterfinals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The win should just about ensure the Cardinal (21-11) its first NCAA tournament appearance under since Johnny Dawkins came to The Farm six years ago and moved Stanford into a semifinal Friday night against second-seeded UCLA.
The Cardinal led 30-27 at halftime, but canned six of their first eight shots in the second half to open an 11-point lead and then pulled away. Stanford shot 70.8 percent in the second half (17-for-24) and Arizona State (21-11) never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Jonathan Gilling led the Sun Devils with 13 points. Shaquielle McKissic had 12 points and five assists, Bo Barnes also scored 12 points and Jahii Carson tossed in 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall each had five rebounds.
Stanford was 28-for-51 (54.9 percent) overall, 8-for-18 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range and 15-for-19 (78.9 percent) from the free throw line. Arizona State was 20-for-50 (40 percent), 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) and 11-for-13 (84.6 percent).
The Cardinal had a sizeable 34-23 rebounding advantage and committed to 10 turnovers, compared to 11 for the Sun Devils.
Stanford’s last NCAA tournament bid came under coach Trent Johnson in 2008. He left to take over the LSU job after that season.
The Cardinal and Bruins split two meetings this season, the UCLA winning at home 91-74 on Jan. 23 and Stanford holding serve at Maples Pavilion 83-74 on Feb. 22.
Colorado plays Arizona in the first semifinal Friday at 6 p.m., followed by the Bruins and Cardinal.
Pac-12 Conference Tourmament
All games at MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas
Game 1: (8) Utah 67, (9) Washington 61
Game 2: (5) Colorado 59, (12) USC 56
Game 3: (7) Oregon 88, (10) Oregon State 74
Game 4: (6) Stanford 74, (11) Washington State 63
Game 5: (1) Arizona 71, (8) Utah 39
Game 6: (5) Colorado 59, (4) Cal 56
Game 7: (2) UCLA 82, (7) Oregon 63
Game 8: (6) Stanford 79, (3) Arizona State 58
(5) Colorado vs. (1) Arizona, 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
(6) Stanford vs. (2) UCLA, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)