Sports

No place like home for Stanford men's hoops

 

If someone were to look closely enough, perhaps they would find some kind of magic dust sprinkled on the court inside Maples Pavilion.

It's been a while since any Stanford basketball team has lost at home. Throw in the volleyball teams, men and women, and you're looking at a special place indeed.

Jeremy Green scored 21 points and Dwight Powell added 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds as the Cardinal men beat visiting California, 82-68, in the Pac-10 opener Sunday evening.

Stanford (1-0, 8-4) remains undefeated at home in seven games this season. The Cardinal hopes to carry that momentum on the road this week when it visits Arizona State at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Arizona at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Cardinal never trailed after Green's three-pointer gave Stanford a 14-12 lead 7:11 into the game. The Golden Bears hung around until Stanford pulled away in the second half.

Cal was within two points in the final minute of the first half before a Green jumper gave the Cardinal a 38-34 advantage at the intermission.

"I felt like our kids came out and played hard and with a lot of heart," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Especially when they were cutting into the lead, I think we showed a lot of poise. We made the plays that we needed to stay ahead."

Freshmen Anthony Brown added 11 points and Aaron Bright had 10 points and four assists for Stanford, which has a 19.1 average margin of victory in its home games.

"Jeremy Green had a great game, and we had key contributions from our youngsters like Dwight Powell, Aaron Bright, and Anthony Brown," Dawkins said. "All three of them gave good contributions along with our upper classmen. They really executed well."

Powell made seven of his 11 shots from the field while Green was 6-of-9. Stanford shot over 57 percent, including a 53 percent effort from 3-point range. The accuracy was needed as Cal shot just over 54 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle by a slim, 27-24, margin.

Cal drew within 40-37 with 17:27 remaining to play and that was as close as the Bears would come the rest of the way. Stanford went on a 16-6 run afterward that opened a double-digit advantage.

Stanford turned Cal's 16 turnovers into 18 points while the Bears were only able to capitalize on Stanford turnovers (11) for nine points.

"It's an experience that will help define our younger players," Dawkins said. "It's an amazing campus and unique. When you see the programs do as well as they've been doing, it's a good feeling. It's very much a team atmosphere."

The men's volleyball team won the NCAA title at Maples last spring, while the women's volleyball team dropped one match there all season. The women's basketball team has a 52-game home winning streak intact.

The Cardinal lost its final four home games last season and finished 10-6 in Maples. Stanford men's streak may only be at seven, but it's a start.

In other Pac-10 action Sunday, host Oregon State (2-0, 7-6) shocked Arizona (1-1, 12-3), 76-75.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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