Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 24, 2010

Cardinal men look forward to playing at home

After back-to-back losses on the road, Stanford men's basketball team will host Yale next season with hopes of ending loss streak

by Rick Eymer

The Stanford men's basketball team needs to keep tapping its collective heels together and repeat "there's no place like home," as often as possible. If the Cardinal players close their eyes, then just maybe all these yellow brick road nightmares will simply vanish.

The Cardinal was far more competitive Tuesday than it had been in its previous game away from home but the result was the same.

Josh Owens had 21 points and 10 rebounds but Stanford suffered its second straight loss, dropping a 79-68 decision to host Oklahoma State as part of the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Classic series Tuesday night.

The Cardinal (6-4) lost to host Butler, 83-50, last Saturday.

Jeremy Green added 17 points as four Stanford players reached double figures overall. Aaron Bright had 12 points, including an 8-of-8 effort from the foul line, and Dwight Powell added 10.

The Cardinal (6-4) returns home to host Yale at 7 p.m. next Tuesday. Stanford is undefeated in five games at Maples Pavilion this season. The road trip couldn't end soon enough.

Bright saw his most significant action of the season (34 minutes) and responded. He also had a team-high four assists and did not commit a turnover.

The starting lineup included Andrew Zimmerman and Gabriel Harris, who swiftly got into foul trouble, as coach Johnny Dawkins continues to search for the right combination.

Stanford led, 33-28, with less than a minute to play in the first half. The Cowboys scored the final six points of the period to take a 34-33 halftime lead. Oklahoma State (11-1) eventually completed a 14-2 run that bridged both halves.

The Cowboys were 11-of-19 from long range, including Keiton Page's fifth of the night with 59 seconds remaining to play.

Green made a pair of free throws with 1:33 left to bring the Cardinal within 69-63.

Stanford has two nonconference games remaining on its schedule, both at home. The Cardinal also hosts Seattle on March 1.

Stanford opens the Pac-10 season at home with a 5 p.m. tipoff against Bay Area rival California on Sunday, Jan. 2.

Baseball

Stanford's numbers are beginning to add up to something special and the season has yet to start.

The Cardinal (31-25 last year) was voted 10th overall in Collegiate Baseball's preseason national poll earlier this week.

The first official ranking of the season came on the heels of Kenny Diekroeger, the Menlo School grad, being included on Collegiate Baseball's preseason All-American team. The publication also rated Stanford's latest recruiting class as tops in the nation.

Stanford is one of four teams ranked in the top 15 from the Pac-10, joining UCLA (3), Oregon (9) and Arizona State (11).

Stanford opens the year on the road with a three-game series at No. 21 Rice, Feb. 18-20, at No. 5 Vanderbilt and at No. 7-ranked Texas.

Wrestling

Stanford senior Zach Giesen and junior Nick Amuchastegui each won their weight division at the Reno Tournament of Champions last Sunday.

Justin Paulsen placed fourth in the 133-pound division as the Cardinal finished eighth as a team with 65 points. Wyoming won the team title with 106 points.

Stanford returns to action in the Midlands Championships beginning Wednesday at Northwestern.

In Reno, Giesen won the 197-pound division, beating top-seeded Erik Schuth of Ohio, 8-2. Amuchastegui nudged Boise State's Jake Swartz, 2-0, in the championshipo bout of the 174-pound weight class.

Paulsen fought through the wrestleback to earn a spot in the third-place match, where he lost to Oregon State's Garrett Drucker, 6-4.

Giesen (8-0) began with a 12-6 decision over Kyle Sanders of Ohio. He followed with his first pin of the season over Buffalo's Josh Peter in 2:07. A 7-5 decision over Cal State Bakersfield's Riley Orozco put Giesen in the championship bout.

The top-seeded Amuchastegui has won his first 12 bouts and did not allow a point in winning the title.

He shut out Zach White of Oklahoma State (5-0) and Wyoming's Pat Martinez (6-0) before recording a pin over Tarrence Williams of Clackamas in 4:30 to advance to the championship bout.

Senior Lucas Espericueta was 3-1, including a technical fall, a major decision and a fall at 165 pounds. Six other Cardinal wrestlers recorded at least two wins.

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