The Stanford Cardinal came into Thursday's matchup versus the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers looking to continue to build off their 64-48 win over USD this past Monday night. Playing a team not unlike themselves in terms of youth, the Cardinal were in a fight for most of the contest, but were able to get hot down the stretch and eventually pull away from Virginia, knocking off the Cavaliers by a final score of 81-60. Stanford moves to 2-0 on the season, while Virginia falls to 2-1.
Both teams came out hot from three-point land with the Cavs making two from long distance while Jeremy Green drained one from the right wing, however there wasn't much else going for either squad as Jarrett Mann missed on four free throw attempts before a long right corner jumper was made by UVA's Jontel Evans. Andrew Zimmerman got a two-handed dunk after a turnover by the Cavaliers to cut the lead to 8-5 before the first media timeout. Dwight Powell gobbled up an offensive rebound after a Z miss and put it back off the glass to cut the lead to one, but the Cavaliers used some nifty passing to get a wide open three from KT Harrell from the left wing to push UVA back up six, 13-7, with just over 13 minutes to go. A Trotter layup inside brought Stanford within four, but a couple of missed shots left them behind as the squads headed back to their respective benches.
Stanford continued to have shots rim out, but a few turnovers from Virginia helped keep their lead at just six before freshman Aaron Bright nailed an open three-pointer from the left wing with 9:39 to go in the first half. Another Bright triple from the right wing off a dish from Green knotted the score up at 17 with under eight minutes to go in the first stanza of play. The junior got hot after the media break, hitting a long two and then a left corner three to cap an 8-0 run, placing Stanford on top by five, 22-17. UVA would cut the lead down to one, 26-25 with 3:59 to go after a Mustapha Farrakhan right corner three-pointer. A Zimmerman hook inside the paint bumped the lead back up to three before the last TV timeout of the half, then the big man hit an open three ball from the corner to give Stanford their biggest lead of the game, 31-25, with 3:14 left in the half. The Cavaliers went on a 9-3 run to tie the game up with 6.9 ticks left, but Bright nailed his third three-pointer of the half from the top of the key at the buzzer after a Stanford timeout, sending the home fans into a frenzy and the team pumped up into locker room up three, 37-34.
For the half, the Cardinal shot a hot 58% from the field, including a stellar 6-9 (67%) from the three-point arc. However, the free throw line was not kind as Stanford went a miserable 1-8 (13%) at the charity stripe. UVA countered with a blistering 60% shooting mark from the floor, 56% behind the three-point line, and a perfect 5-5 at the free throw line. Stanford outrebounded Virginia 13-10, including 6-1 on the offensive glass. The Cardinal had six assists and eight turnovers, while the Cavaliers ended the first 20 minutes with five assists and 12 turnovers.
Stanford was led by Green's 10 points on 4-6 shooting. He was followed by Bright and Zimmerman who both tallied nine. Virginia was led by Evans' 11 and Farrakhan's six.
The second half started with Josh Owens, plagued by two early fouls in the first half, getting a hoop and some harm inside the paint. The ensuing made free throw doubled Stanford's lead to six, but Owens wasn't through as he made a short hook inside the paint after an empty Cavs possession to give the Cardinal a 42-34 lead just a minute into the half. UVA head coach Tony Bennett had seen enough, taking a timeout to settle down his troops before the Cardinal fed off the momentum of their big man and the home crowd. Out of the break, however, Joe Harris was on fire, making back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to get the Cavaliers within one, 44-43, before Green stopped the bleeding with a long three-pointer from the right wing to give the Card some cushion before the first TV break of the second half.
Back-to-back Anthony Brown three-pointers with men in his face from each wing bought the Cardinal some much needed breathing room, pushing the lead up to eight, 53-45, with just over 12 minutes to go in the contest. After another Bennett timeout, UVA went to Will Sherrill who drained his second three-pointer of the game to keep the Cavaliers within reach of the home team as the teams went to their benches to rest up after the under-12 minutes media break. Some helter-skelter play ensued for about a minute before Bright hit another three-pointer, this time from the right wing and after two offensive rebounds, to give Stanford a 56-48 lead with 10:21 left in the game. After a Bright steal and timeout before the tie-up by Virginia, Z canned a right wing long ball to give the Cardinal their first double-digit advantage of the contest. Following a UVA miss and foul, Green served up an open three to bring the lead to 14 before a made bucket by Sherrill ended the 9-0 streak from the good guys shortly before the teams traded baskets heading into the next media break.
The Cardinal continued to stay hot, getting a block from Z on a fast break and five points from Brown to push the lead to 19 with 6:14 after the three-point play from the man from Huntington Beach, CA. Powell would get into the act next for the Cardinal, making a silky smooth move to the hoop for two, then going untouched from the right wing, down the baseline, and throwing down a one-hand jam to keep the lead at 19 with just four minutes to go in the game. Virginia would cut the lead down after the last media break, getting as close as 15, but Green kept pumping shots into the hoop, including a long top-of-the-key trifecta as the shot clock was winding down to put the final nails into the Cavaliers coffin.
For the contest the Cardinal shot 54% from the field including a spectacular 13-23 (57%) from the three-point arc. They were just 6-14 (43%) at the charity stripe (Head Coach Johnny Dawkins again mentioned that players need to "settle down") but did make 5-6 (83%) in the second half. UVA countered with 43% shooting from the floor for the game, but made just 30% of their attempts in the second half. UVA hit 38% of their shots from behind the three-point line, and finished 11-11 at the free throw line. Stanford outrebounded Virginia 33-25, including 11-5 on the offensive glass. The Cardinal had 13 assists and 12 turnovers, while the Cavaliers ended the game with 11 assists and 18 turnovers, with only two of those coming by way of Stanford steals.
Green (who Dawkins called "Robin" last year to Landry Fields' "Batman,") said tonight he was a "little more patient" and "let the game come to (him)." This showed as he led all scorers with 21 points on 8-13 shooting. The Cardinal had four other players in double-figures, including Brown with 13, Bright and Zimmerman's 12, and Powell's 10. Bright finished the game 4-4 from the field, all three-pointers, and had four assists and just one turnover in 17 minutes of play. Virginia was led by Farrakhan's 14 on 4-10 shooting. He was followed by Harris' 12 and Evans' 11.
In the post-game press conference, Dawkins was pleased with his team's effort on the evening. He was impressed with UVA, saying "they were really, really executing well" in the first half, but that his team "played their butts off for 40 minutes," helping them get the win on Thursday night. The Stanford Cardinal will look to continue their winning ways on Sunday versus the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (0-2) at 5:00pm. The 2009-10 SWAC Champions begin this season with a 12-game road trip and won't play at home until they face Mississippi Valley State on January 4th, 2011.
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