Stanford men’s and women’s basketball began regular season action in the last two days, and both Cardinal hoops teams emerged with comfortable victories. Here’s a review of the basketball action that went down in Maples Pavilion on Sunday and Monday.
Women defeat Rutgers, 63-50
Stanford took care of a Rutgers team that had fallen just two days before (Friday night) at Berkeley to the Golden Bears. The Scarlet Knights trailed the Card by just 3 points at halftime, but Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen, Kayla Pedersen, and Nnemkadi Ogwumike led Stanford to a dominant second half and the 13-point victory. The three upperclassmen all played the full 40 minutes, while Ogwumike led all scorers with 20 points, and Pedersen scored another 13. Nnemkadi’s sister, freshman Chiney Ogwumike, led the Cardinal in rebounding with 12 boards in just 21 minutes during her collegiate debut.
Rutgers used only 6 players, and their fatigue helped Stanford put the Scarlet Knights away. Only forward Chelsey Lee and guard Nikki Speed played fewer than 30 minutes for Rutgers, compared to the 4 women who played less than half an hour in Stanford’s 8-player rotation. Sophomore guard Erica Wheeler led the Scarlet Knights with 16 points (tied for her career high, which she set on Friday against Cal) and 3 rebounds.
Stanford currently sits at #3 in the country, but the top two teams–#1 UConn and #2 Baylor–will play tonight for the top ranking, the preservation (or destruction) of UConn’s 79-game winning streak, and a nice resume win come Selection Monday. The loser could drop out of the top 2, and Stanford would presumably slide into the #2 spot.
Men defeat San Diego, 64-48
In a game that was never close after the opening minutes of the first half, Stanford utilized its most balanced offensive attack in over a year to beat the Toreros. Junior forward Andrew Zimmerman came off the bench to lead all scorers with 14 points, and fellow non-starter Gabriel Harris was the Cardinal’s second-leading scorer with 12. Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins clearly wanted to continue testing out his personnel, as not a single Stanford player saw more than 24 minutes of action in the season opener. 12 players got on the court, and 11 scored, but only Zimmerman and Harris put up double-digits.
Heralded freshman Dwight Powell led all freshmen with 7 points and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes of play. Freshman guard Anthony Brown pitched in 6 rebounds, which tied for the team lead (with junior forward Jack Trotter). Dawkins appears to have decided on using Jarrett Mann as the starting point guard, but freshman Aaron Bright, as did Harris. Look for Mann to continue starting, and Bright to play a major role as Mann’s primary back-up.
San Diego had serious problems scoring the basketball. The Toreros’ three leading scorers–Darian Norris, Devin Ginty, and Chris Manresa–accumulated only 28 points, and could not capitalize on a Stanford offense that lacked a go-to scorer following the graduation and NBA success of Landry Fields.
Jeremy Green will likely step into the role of primary scoring threat for the Card, but Green posted only 2 points on Monday night. Expect that number, and his minutes–Green only got 20–to increase as Stanford moves toward the heart of the schedule, and needs him to provide scoring against stingy defenses.