Sports Shorts | February 15, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - February 15, 2019

Sports Shorts

WHERE THERE'S A WILLS ...Freshman Bryce Wills continues to develop at a rapid pace and it showed during the final minute of Stanford's 79-76 victory over visiting USC on Wednesday night. He scored four of his 11 points in the final 14 seconds to give the Cardinal men's basketball team a much-needed boost following its one-sided loss at Oregon on Sunday. "We got smashed in the mouth and didn't take it very well," Wills said. "This game was a redemption game for us. We had to get back on track." Marcus Sheffield, who has hardly been heard from this year, added a season-high 16 points for Stanford (13-11, 6-6). It's not a stretch to think the Cardinal can win four of its remaining six games, with four home games and a two-game trip to Arizona left. Sheffield, who missed of all last year with an injury, hit a key 3-pointer to help Stanford rally from a 14-point deficit. "I stay prepared, come in and play defense," Sheffield said. "The shots are going to come." KZ Okpala added 18 points before fouling out and Josh Sharma continued a hot streak with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinal, which has won four of its last five. Sharma is averaging 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and over 70 percent shooting from the field over his past eight games for Stanford. He averaged 7.8 points and 4.9 rebounds over his first 16 games. Wills hit a layup with 14 seconds remaining to put Stanford ahead 77-76. He missed an ensuing free throw and USC called time to set up a play. "Coach tells us to keep fighting," Wills said. "We fought back." Sheffield hit a 3-pointer to bring the Cardinal within 76-75 and Sharma made a key steal at the other end. "It was a set play," Sheffield said. "I came off my screen and knocked it down." The Cardinal trailed by as many as 14 points before bouncing back. Stanford took its first lead of the game with 12:02 remaining to play when Sharma sank a short jumper for a 52-51 advantage. Stanford played without point guard Daejon Davis, who missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. The Cardinal hosts UCLA at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Bruins beat Cal in overtime on Wednesday.

ON THE MAT ...Menlo College junior Solin Piearcy earned TheMat.com Athlete of the Week honors after winning her division of the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association national championships over the weekend in Georgia. Piearcy, a former Cupertino star, was instrumental in helping Menlo College win its first national title of any kind. A three-time All-American, Piearcy, won the 136-pound title, earning technical falls in all five of her matches en route to her first WCWA individual title. Piearcy, ranked No. 2 going into the weekend, opened the tournament with three-consecutive 10-0 shutouts. In the semifinals, she shut down 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Kayla Marano of Emmanuel in a dominating 14-4 performance. The final paired Piearcy with top-ranked Nicole Joseph of King, a 2018 All-American. After a slow start, Piearcy led, 1-1, on criteria, going into the break. In the second period, Piearcy got a chance on top, taking down Joseph with a low single attack. The Oak rattled off four leg laces to end it with an 11-1 tech fall. The win clinched the title for Menlo, which entered the final round trailing Simon Fraser.

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