Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 8, 2010

Thrilling win sends Stanford into showdown with UCLA

by Rick Eymer

Stanford sophomore guard Jeremy Green can use the extra day of rest before the Stanford men's basketball team plays visiting UCLA on Saturday.

Green probably needed to be in an infirmary rather than Maples Pavilion on Wednesday night but when Stanford needed him, he delivered.

Jarrett Mann hit a free throw in the final 11 seconds to give the Cardinal a 54-53 victory over visiting USC in a Pac-10 Conference contest. Green led Stanford (1-1, 7-7) with 17 points despite playing with a sore ankle, a sore wrist and sore ribs.

Green missed practice time because of his ankle and wrist problems earlier in the season and he got hit in the ribs and sustained stretched ligaments during the first half against the Trojans. He had to leave the game twice to receive treatment.

"He wanted to compete and he came back and gave us huge contributions," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said.

Landry Fields added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Andrew Zimmerman had 10 points for the Cardinal, which snapped USC's eight-game winning streak.

Stanford returns to the court against the Bruins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, hoping to start another winning streak. The Cardinal has won just two games in its past seven.

"UCLA has a great tradition," Dawkins said. "They have a great coach and a great team. I expect their best effort."

The Bruins (2-1, 7-8) edged California, 76-75 in overtime, on Wednesday and seems poised to rally from the depths of a sub .500 mark.

"We get a chance to prepare for UCLA an extra day," Mann said. "We can go against the scout team a little more and get more used to things."

Mann and UCLA guard Malcolm Lee played against each other at an All-American camp a couple of years ago and Mann believes Lee will be looking for some redemption from a game in which he "took it to him."

After the Cal game, Dawkins sought to encourage other players to make an impact. Mann, Zimmerman, Jack Trotter, Da'Veed Dildy and Matei Daian provided just the effort needed.

"We need more guys to contribute," Dawkins said. "They took it to heart and took advantage of their chances."

Daian's seven-minute stretch, Dawkins said, was such an occasion.

"He had the putback, he tipped a ball to another player and made big contributions," he said. "He has that wide body and is someone who can compete with guys physically. That's something we need."

Stanford had to sweat out the final seconds of Wednesday's game as the Trojans (2-1, 10-5) had three chances to win it before the buzzer sounded.

Mike Gerrity hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds to tie the game at 53-all. The Trojans scored seven unanswered points to knot things up.

Poor free-throw shooting proved costly for Stanford, which missed five straight before Mann stepped up to hit the game-winner.

USC took the court for the first time since learning the university imposed sanctions, which includes no postseason play this season, on the program for recruiting violations involving former star player O.J. Mayo.

In addition, USC radio play-by-play announcer Rory Markas died Monday at age 54. He called the Trojans' victory over Arizona State on Saturday. There was a moment of silence for Markas before tipoff.

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