Juniors take the lead in Stanford Pac-10 men's basketball win


By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Jarrett Mann has been using the same form on his free throws from day one. They are just going in more often than they have in the past.

Josh Owens said he never has a problem with free throws during practice. Until recently, he's had a problem with them in games.

Jeremy Green has been riding an offensive roller coaster this season. Sometimes he scores a lot and sometimes not at all.

The three juniors were at the top of their game Saturday and that led to Stanford's 83-75 victory over visiting Arizona State in Pac-10 competition.

The Cardinal (5-6, 12-10) travels to Washington State for a game Thursday night hoping to build on just its second win in seven games.

Mann not only produced a career high 14 points, which included a career best eight made free throws, but he also matched his season high with seven assists and turned the ball over once.

"Beside the numbers, I feel like I did a good job of leading the team," Mann said. "It's putting in all the hard work during the offseason. I feel comfortable with the ball."

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins did him one better, calling it the best game Mann has ever had in a Cardinal uniform. He also included Green in that statement.

"Jarrett is the most improved player in the Pac-10," Dawkins said. "Jeremy makes us better."

Green scored a season-high 23 points, making all five of his 3-pointers. He was also 6-of-8 from the foul line. Green scored more than 20 points in back-to-back games for the second time all season.

"It was good to see Jeremy stroke the ball," Dawkins said. "Jeremy shot the ball well in the last game and followed it up with another good effort."

Owens added 16 points (10-of-12 from the line) and a game-high eight rebounds while Aaron Bright scored 10 points.

Stanford never led by more than 10 points in the contest and needed several important contributions from their juniors, the team leaders by default on a roster without a senior.

"It was more than them scoring," Dawkins said. "It was about how they stepped up and made plays that were needed to close out the game."

Owens was a little hard on himself for getting into early foul trouble and sitting out most of the first half. He came back with a sensational second half.

"I'm still trying to put a complete game together," he said. "I played smarter in the second half. It's still a process and I'm not where I want to be yet. I hope to make a positive step in some area every day whether its rebounding or my defense. I'm still learning."

Stanford scored its most points since getting 92 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 21.

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