The Stanford Cardinal opened the 2009-2010 campaign with an exhibition contest against the Sonoma State Seawolves, an NCAA Division II program and member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. In front of a sparse crowd at Maples Pavilion, including about 100 6th Man Club members, the Cardinal were able to make a strong run to start the second half, getting their lead up to as many as 35, before ultimately defeating Sonoma State by a final score of 82-61.
Stanford started the game with Landry Fields, Drew Shiller, Da'Veed Dildy, Andrew Zimmerman, and Elliott Bullock on the floor. This combination began the game by hitting two three-pointers, one from Dildy and another from Shiller, but the Seawolves countered with two long balls of their own to keep things close. A nice move by Fields inside the paint pushed the Cardinal lead back to four, 10-6, at the first media timeout.
The Cardinal began to establish their presence after the time out, bolting out to a 20-10 lead after a series of layups by Zimmerman, Fields, and Jarrett Mann. Sonoma State's Jason Walter hit a long three-pointer from the right wing to stem the tide, but the Seawolves' bench received a technical foul for arguing calls, a first for this writer during an exhibition game. Dildy made one of the two free throws after the media stoppage, but Stanford was not able to push the lead further after two consecutive turnovers.
Midway through the first half, Sonoma State broke out the zone against the Cardinal, helping them keep pace with Stanford as they trailed by just eight, 28-20, with 7:09 remaining in the first half. The Seawolves would get as close as five before the Cardinal would run off eight in a row over a 50-second span, including a Zimmerman three-pointer just right of top of the key, giving them their biggest advantage of the night, 38-25, with 4:07 remaining. Stanford would eventually go up by 18 before a Chris Weber long ball from the left wing stopped the bleeding. Sonoma State continued to regain their footing in the final four minutes of the half, cutting the lead to 14 at one point, before a baseline jumper by Trotter right before the buzzer set the lead going into the half at 47-30.
At the half, Stanford was shooting 60% from the floor, including 6-11 from the three-point arc, while making five of eight from the charity stripe. Sonoma State was not quite equal to the numbers the Cardinal put up, but still managed to make 50% of their shots, were four of nine from deep, and made four of their six freebies. Stanford outrebounded Sonoma State 18-8, had 14 assists to the Seawolves' five, and committed nine turnovers to the visitors' 12.
The second half started with the Cardinal making just one change to their opening tip lineup, going with Mann instead of Shiller. Despite some sloppy play from both sides, the Cardinal managed to go on a 12-2 run to increase their halftime lead to 27, 59-32, fueled with shots by Dildy, Zimmerman, and Bullock, before the first media timeout of the second 20 minutes of play. This run seemed to take the steam out of Sonoma State, bringing slumped shoulders and less communication on the floor.
After the timeout, the Seawolves brought their zone back out, which did appear to stem the Cardinal momentum for a short period of time, however, Stanford was ready for it, coming up with timely rebounds and the third three-pointer of the game for Igbinosa to get the lead up to 29, 64-35, with just over 12 minutes to go. The next few minutes saw the Cardinal bring some of its bench into the exhibition, including new walk-on Peter Abraham, who is so new that he doesn't even have his name on his jersey, and Mater Daian, who looks completely different without his shaggy hair.
Stanford got five points from Mann, including a nice move in the paint and a three-pointer from the left wing, to increase the lead to 35, 74-39, with just under nine minutes to go. The Cardinal offense, though, appeared to slow as they made liberal substitutions, allowing the Seawolves to go on a modest 8-2 streak before a Mann three-pointer from the left wing got the Cardinal back up 33, with 4:40 remaining in the game. Sonoma State seemed to get one last burst of energy after the last timeout of the game, getting the lead down to its final margin of 21 in the waning moments before succumbing to the Cardinal on Stanford's home floor.
For the game, Stanford shot an even 50% from the floor, 50% from the three-point arc, and made 53% from the charity stripe. Sonoma State finished the contest making 51% of their shots overall, including 44% from deep, and shot 52% from the free-throw line. Stanford outrebounded Sonoma State 43-22, including a 16-2 margin on the offensive glass, dished out 22 assists to the Seawolves' 12, and committed 16 turnovers to the visitors' 20.
Fields led the way with 15 for Stanford on 7-11 shootin. He was followed by four others in double-digits, including a double-double for Zimmerman (13 and 10), 11 points each from Igbinosa and Mann, and 10 out of Trotter. Sonoma State was led by Steven Pratt who had 13 points. Next in line for the Seawolves was Mike Nelson with nine for the Seawolves.
Stanford opens the regular season next Friday, the 13th, against the
University of San Diego Toreros at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros,
voted to finish 6th in the West Coast Conference amongst members of the media,
host the Cardinal at 7:00pm in what will also be their season
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