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Tara VanDerveer within 1 win of tying coach K's record after No. 8 Stanford tops No. 19 Utah 66-64

Tara VanDerveer within 1 win of tying coach K's record after No. 8 Stanford tops No. 19 Utah 66-64

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kiki Iriafen had 25 points and 16 rebounds to help No. 8 Stanford edge No. 19 Utah 66-64 on Friday night for the Cardinal’s seventh straight win.

Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer moved within one win of tying former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s college basketball wins record of 1,202.

“Kiki really stepped up and made big baskets,” VanDerveer said.

Hannah Jump scored 12 points and Cameron Brink got in early foul trouble and finished with nine points for Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12).

Utah’s Alissa Pili, who had 16 points, made a pair of free throws and a twisting layup to cut Stanford's lead to 65-64. Then a couple of jump balls were called on each team's subsequent possessions.

"Those calls were mysteries,” VanDerveer said. “But this win was huge in this environment.”

Stanford's Talana Lepolo made one free throw with two seconds left and Pili missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to allow the Cardinal to escape.

Pili went 5 for 18 from the field and was hounded by double teams and Stanford’s interior height.

"She is very tough to guard. She scores, she shoots 3s and is a great passer. … We tried to mix it up so she didn’t know what was coming. Sometimes she was one-on-one, sometime she was doubled and sometimes tripled,” VanDerveer said.

Pili was bleary-eyed after the game.

“It's frustrating when we put it all out there ... and we get the short end of the stick time after time,” Pili said between sobs, while also lamenting the end of Utah's 22-game home winning streak.

Utah’s Jenna Johnson had her best offensive game of the season with 15 points while also battling Brink in the post. But Johnson didn’t score in the fourth quarter and the Utes (11-5, 1-3 Pac-12) only shot 39% for the game.

The Utes got back into the game with scrappy defense and crafty passing in the third quarter. Ines Vieira capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer to get Utah within 50-49 with 1:06 left in the quarter.

The Cardinal responded with an 11-3 surge for a 61-52 lead.

Iriafen scored 14 points in the first half, but Stanford got baskets from three other players in a 9-0 run to take command in the second quarter. Jump’s layup made it 38-29 with 2:26 left in the half.

“It was a battle for 40 minutes,” Iriafen said. “It was a grind."

Utah was ranked in the preseason top five but second-leading scorer Gianna Kneepkens broke bones in her right foot in early December and starting guard Issy Palmer has missed most of the season.

“It didn't happen again in the last couple minutes,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “We'll get Issy Palmer back ... and I believe firmly things will bounce our way again.”

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: Iriafen provided the offensive firepower but the Cardinal used defense to limit Pili. Stanford is now 32-2 against the Utes, with both setbacks coming in recent years in Salt Lake City.

Utah: The Utes' fluid offense sputtered the way most teams do against Stanford’s vaunted defense, which allows just 34.7% shooting for the season. With their tough early conference schedule, Utah is facing a hard climb from near the bottom of the standings.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Visit No. 5 Colorado on Sunday.

Utah: Host California on Sunday.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball