Men’s basketball made easy work of dispatching the North Carolina A&T Aggies on Wednesday night in Maples Pavilion. Juniors Jeremy Green and Josh Owens led the way for the Cardinal with a combined 33 points, 18 of which came from Green. Owens also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 blocks from the center position. Freshman Dwight Powell bounced back from a subpar performance against UC-Riverside to deliver 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block in Wednesday night’s contest.
Fellow freshman Aaron Bright, who has shown an impressive ability to run the offense and control the tempo of the game at times from the point guard position throughout the season, scored 8 points off the bench for Stanford in just 11 minutes of playing time. Andrew Zimmerman continues to be a valuable bench assist for the Card. Zimmerman played 21 minutes and helped relieved the starting bigs while scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 boards.
Aggie back-up guard Nic Simpson led all scorers with 20 points off the North Carolina A&T bench. Simpson’s minutes this year have benefited from the sporadic playing time of starting forward Ray Lester, who played just 1 minute against Stanford and has yet to play more than 23 minutes in any game in 2010-’11. The freshman from Chicago was a recruiting steal for NC A&T, but has not yet emerged as a viable starter for the Aggies and has not reached double-digit scoring at all so far in his collegiate career.
The Cardinal continue to struggle from the charity stripe, and shot only 64% from the line on Wednesday night. That means a substantial improvement over some of the earlier free-throw shooting performances from the Card, when the team shot under 50% from the line. Going forward, head coach Johnny Dawkins and Stanford will also need the freshmen to turn in good performances consistently in order to stay competitive in stiffer non-conference play and in PAC-10 competition.
Stanford travels to Indiana to play Butler on Saturday before playing at Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.
The women’s team will play DePaul tonight, and coach Tara VanDerveer will seek to claim her 800th career win.