The Stanford Cardinal opened the 2009-10 Men's Basketball season by traveling down to San Diego to take on the University of San Diego Toreros, a team voted by the media to finish sixth in the West Coast Conference. While the Cardinal took an early second half lead, a late run by USD finished off Stanford's efforts to win a second consecutive road opener, as the Toreros won going away, 77-64, in front of a raucous crowd at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
The contest started out with both teams looking to make some early headway and grab an advantage from the get go. The Toreros scored seven of the first nine points and maintained a lead of at least a bucket until Jeremy Green, recently reinstated from his suspension, hit a three-pointer to give Stanford a 13-11 advantage a little less than six minutes into the game. San Diego and Stanford would trade the lead over the next couple of minutes before USD went on a 14-5 run over a 5:11 span to give them their biggest lead of the half, eight, at 31-23 with 4:43 remaining in the half. Both teams traded baskets over the remainder of the first 20 minutes of play, before Landry Fields made a jumper with five ticks on the clock to cut the Toreros halftime lead to three at 35-32.
Stanford started off the second half by stepping up their pressure on the Toreros, forcing them into five turnovers in the first three minutes of play, but could not finish off a majority of shots, relegating them to just a one-point lead, 38-37, after the first media timeout. San Diego would take back the lead at the 15:09 mark on a jumper by Brandon Johnson and push that margin to as many as seven over the next eight minutes before the Cardinal made one last run at the Toreros. Baskets and free throws by Fields and Green, two of the only three Stanford players to score in double-figures, got the lead down to one, 57-56, with exactly eight minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, Stanford was not able to convert on three more opportunities for points over its next two possessions and Johnson countered with a three-pointer at the 7:02 mark to get the lead back up to four. It was a lead San Diego would not allow to get under that mark the rest of the way as the Toreros concluded the game on a 20-8 run to seal the win.
For the contest, Stanford shot just 37.5% from the field, including just 29% from the three-point arc. The Cardinal did make a beeline for the free throw line, getting 26 attempts for the game, but they made just 17, finishing the contest at 65%. San Diego made a blistering 53% of their shots overall, despite making just 21% (3 of 14) from beyond the three-point line. The Toreros finished the game making 70% of their tries from the charity stripe. San Diego outrebounded Stanford by seven, 40-33, and had two less turnovers than the Cardinal (14-12) on the evening. Each team dished out 10 assists.
The Cardinal were led by Fields, an All Pac-10 Conference candidate, who scored 25 points on 8-18 shooting from the field and was 9-15 from the free throw line in 36 minutes of play. Green was next in line with 13 points, but he made just four of his 15 attempts from the field in 28 minutes. Senior Drew Shiller was the only other player who scored in double-digits, getting 10 in 30 minutes of action. The Toreros high scorers for the evening, the aforementioned Johnson and De'Jon Jackson, had 18 points each. Forward Chris Lewis played just 19 minutes, but nailed seven of eight shots from the floor, helping him finish with 15 points for the evening. Big man Chris Manresa had 10 points on 5-6 shooting.
Stanford, led by head coach Johnny Dawkins, begins their home slate on
Sunday, November 15th, versus Cal Poly at 7:00pm.
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