Sports

Stanford men look to regroup in hoops at home this weekend

 

Maples Pavilion will be put to good use this weekend, with a pair of men's basketball games, two women's basketball games and a men's volleyball match scheduled.

The Stanford men help open the busy weekend with an 8 p.m. tip-off against Oregon State. No. 11 Oregon visits Saturday at 1 p.m.

The 13th-ranked Cardinal women host Arizona at 7:30 p.m. Friday and No. 8 Arizona State at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Stanford's sixth-ranked men's volleyball team hosts No. 4 Hawaii on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Additionally, Stanford hosts a plethora of other sports this weekend, including a Pac-12 wrestling match at Burnham Pavilion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Peg Bernard Invitational, a women's golf tournament, on the Stanford Golf Course Saturday and Sunday, a synchronized swimming meet against Incarnate Word on Friday and Saturday and a noon women's swimming and diving meet against California at Avery Aquatic Center.

Hawaii and Stanford also battle Friday night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men's volleyball match at Burnham Pavilion at 7:30 p.m., and the 14th-ranked Cardinal women's tennis team hosts No. 22 TCU at noon Saturday at the Taube Family Tennis Center.

The Stanford-Oregon State match-up, to be aired on Fox Sports 1, features eight rising freshmen, three of whom are expected to start.

Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said Tuesday that guard Marcus Sheffield will make his second consecutive start, and his third overall, against the Beavers. Forward Cameron Walker and center Josh Sharma are also expected to play.

"I've seen a lot of progress," Stanford junior guard Marcus Allen said of Sheffield. "It's been a hure improvement since he's arrived. I've seen him get better and better every day."

Sheffield averaged 4.0 points and 11.2 minutes over his first 11 games and has averaged 10.3 points and 25.0 minutes in Pac-12 play.

Stanford (11-10, 4-6 Pac-12) looks to break a three-game losing streak, all on the road, against the Beavers (14-8, 5-6). The Cardinal currently resides in a ninth-place tie with UCLA, though a sweep of the Oregon schools could vault Stanford as high as fifth.

The gap between third and 10th place in the conference is two games in the loss column. Oregon (20-4, 9-2) has a one-game lead over USC (18-5, 7-3). Arizona and Washington, both at 7-4, are tied for third.

Oregon State starts a pair of freshmen in 6-8 forward Tres Tinkle and 6-10 forward Drew Eubanks. In addition, 6-11 center Gilgorije Rakocevic and guards Stephen Thompson, Jr. and Derrick Bruce come off the bench.

The game also features the leaders in steals in the Pac-12, with No. 1 Gary Payton (2.4) and No. 2 Marcus Allen (1.8). Stanford averages 6.9 steals as a team, a mark that would be the highest in 19 years.

The Cardinal has beaten Oregon State in six of the past seven meetings, and the past five straight at home.

Stanford has committed the fewest turnovers among conference teams and ranks second with a plus-2.76 turnover margin. The Beavers have committed the second-fewest turnovers and rank third with a plus-2.36 turnover margin.

"From the beginning of the season the coaches have stressed getting your hands into the gaps and deflecting balls," Stanford's Grant Verhoeven said. "We need to get better defensively. It's all about getting better for the next game."

Women's basketball

The Cardinal took the weekend off after sweeping last week's home-and-home conference series with California.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer hopes the break will help reset the mindset for the rest of the season.

The Cardinal (19-5, 9-3 Pac-12) is in a position to control its own destiny. Sweeping its last six regular-season games, four of which are at home, would give Stanford no worse than a four-way tie for the conference title.

Stanford won't be able to catch the Sun Devils or Oregon State without first beating Arizona, which comes to Maples on Friday night. The Beavers also travel to Maples on Feb. 26.

Oregon State and the Sun Devils currently share first place in the conference, with the Cardinal and UCLA tied for third. Washington is a game behind and Oregon two games back.

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