No. 2 Stanford caps 2nd unbeaten Pac-10 run in row

No. 2 Stanford caps 2nd unbeaten Pac-10 run in row

Feb. 10, 2011BOXSCORE NCAASCOREBOARDSTANFORD PAGE

STANFORD (AP) Nnemkadi Ogwumike returned to full strength from an ankle injury to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds and No. 2 Stanford capped a second straight unbeaten run through the Pac-10 Conference with a 75-51 victory over rival California on Thursday night.Jeanette Pohlen added 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Cardinal (27-2, 18-0) extended their school record winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 61 and also captured their 55th in a row against conference opponents.Rachelle Federico scored 16 points, Lindsay Sherbert had 13 and Layshia Clarendon 12 for the Golden Bears (15-14, 7-11), who looked better for a half than in an embarrassing 78-45 rout by Stanford in Berkeley on Jan. 2.Kayla Pedersen had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Cardinal's sixth consecutive victory in the rivalry.
KILLION: Pederson, Pohlen power No. 2 Cardinal
Pedersen scored two of three straight transition baskets to start the second half by Stanford, which clinched its 11th straight regular-season conference crown last weekend. After Federico had back-to-back baskets to get Cal within nine, Chiney Ogwumike converted a three-point play on the other end moments later.Her big sister, Nneka Ogwumike, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year, went 6 for 12 from the field, made 4 of 7 free throws and also had three steals in 37 minutes. She came back for 12 minutes in last Saturday's 99-60 rout of Oregon after missing two games with a sprained right ankle.Cal, which snapped a six-game losing streak last weekend with a 58-49 win over Oregon State, had to deal with another off night by leading scorer DeNesha Stallworth.Stallworth was held to no points on 0-for-3 shooting. That after she finished with two points on 0-for-2 shooting the last time the teams played.That previous meeting between the schools came in the Cardinal's first game after snapping then-No. 1 Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak with a 71-59 victory Dec. 30 at Maples. The Bears shot just 35 percent in that one and were outrebounded 49-26.This time, the Cardinal shot 51.8 percent, held a 40-28 rebounding advantage and forced 16 turnovers while overcoming 15 of their own to win for the 48th time in the last 53 meetings in the Bay Area rivalry. Cal went 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the second half as Stanford increased its pressure on defense.Stanford honored its seniors after the game with a tribute that included a video on the big screen, recognizing an impressive class trying to become the first in school history to reach four straight Final Fours. Stanford also recognized Cal's seniors before tipoff.Pedersen and Pohlen are among the seniors trying to make to make it an undefeated run at home for their careers. The Cardinal host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament March 19 and 21.Cal began the game by making 7 of 10 field goals and knocked down its initial three 3-pointers, two by Federico, on the way to a quick 17-12 lead. Stanford then answered with an 18-5 run and the Cardinal led 38-33 at halftime.The Cardinal also went unbeaten in regular-season conference play in back-to-back years in 1995-96 and 1996-97.

Giants put it together in all phases, get back in win column

Giants put it together in all phases, get back in win column

SAN FRANCISCO — In the bottom of the eighth inning Monday, with the Giants finally running away with one, Johnny Cueto started blowing into a giant wad of bubble gum. He held two hands out, ready to catch remnants of an explosion as Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson looked on and smiled. 

A few minutes later, players started migrating to the dugout rail as they have done in each of the three starts Ryder Jones has made. They are ready to cheer on a rookie’s first big league hit, even if the wait has been an excruciating one for the third baseman. 

Bruce Bochy likes to say that your personality is better when you’re winning, and his players certainly showed that Monday in snapshots here and there. They woke up to a report that there were fractured in the clubhouse, caused in large part by the new closer. They denied it, they met as a group, and then, finally, they won. 

Jeff Samardzija pitched as he has for two months, the top of the lineup came through over and over again, and Brandon Crawford paced a golden night with the gloves. A 9-2 win over the Rockies was just the second since June 11 and it snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Rockies. Any win is meaningful at this point, but this one seemed to mean just a little bit more given the drama of the day. 

“Despite what people might think, we still have a pretty good group here and we get along just fine,” Crawford said. “We’re all rooting for each other.”

It’s one thing to support teammates off the field, and there’s been no indication that the Giants aren’t doing that. It’s quite another to be hand-in-hand between the lines, and for much of this season, Samardzija has been on an island. 

The right-hander has been Bochy’s best pitcher since Madison Bumgarner went down in the hills outside Denver. But he entered Monday with a 2-9 record and 4.74 ERA inflated by faulty defense. He hasn’t grumbled, but he has grown accustomed to the worst, and when Nolan Arenado bounced a ball deep to the hole in shortstop with two on and two outs in the third, Samardzija figured the game was probably tied. 

“I’m thinking maybe they charge it in the outfield and maybe make a play at home,” Samardzija said. “But with a guy like that at shortstop, things change so fast.”

Crawford scooped the ball on the edge of the grass. He would have liked nothing more than to make an otherworldly throw to first to nail his World Baseball Classic teammate, but he knew the best chance was at third. A couple of days ago, Crawford and Jones discussed how the rookie should cover third on such a play. Jones played it perfectly, retreating in time to catch Crawford’s inning-ending throw. 

“The best thing (about Crawford) is he doesn’t even talk about it,” Samardzija said.

No, Crawford put the spotlight on Jones.

“That’s a pretty heads-up play,” he said. “We talked about it and he was there. It was a funny coincidence.”

The play held the lead, and the Giants kept pushing. The top four hitters in the lineup finished with 10 hits, six RBI and six runs. Brandon Belt had an RBI triple in the five-spot. Crawford drove in a run behind him. Gorkys Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson added insurance from the bottom. Bochy watched it all from the top step and saw a group collectively relax.

“Just quit fighting it so much,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent in this offense. There’s no reason they can’t put consistent runs on the board. Tonight I just thought the at-bats were so much better and the focus was. Once it started rolling, guys felt better about themselves, and it just got contagious.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse. 

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough. 

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies. 

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night … 

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season. 

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks. 

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit. 

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too 

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced.