Stanford falls to UA before subdued Tucson crowd

Stanford falls to UA before subdued Tucson crowd

Jan. 9, 2011STANFORD PAGE
BOX SCORE PAC-10 STANDINGS

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- There was a noticeable increase in police presence at the Stanford-Arizona basketball game, postponed from Saturday because of the shooting that critically wounded U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others outside a suburban Tucson supermarket.

Fans at Sunday's game noted a more thorough search of their belongings than usual.

University President Robert Shelton spoke to the big crowd at McKale Center from mid-court. He thanked Stanford for cooperating in the delay and praised doctors at nearby University Medical Center "without whose efforts we'd have a lot of dead people right now in Tucson."

RELATED: Stanford-Arizona game postponed after shootings

Players from both teams stood facing the flag for a moment of silence following Shelton's brief remarks.The Arizona basketball team hoped its 67-57 victory over Stanford served a larger purpose than a win in the Pac-10 standings.

"We came here to play hard today," coach Sean Miller said, "and in a sense play for Tucson."

Jamelle Horne, who lost his starting job one game before the Pac-10 season began, scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Arizona completed a home sweep of the Bay Area schools in a contest pushed back a day because of Saturday's mass shooting in suburban Tucson.

Giffords and others hurt in the attack were being treated at University Medical Center, just a few blocks from McKale Center, where Arizona's largest home crowd of the season 14,374 showed up for the game on a brilliantly sunny Sunday.

"We just wanted to come together and help the city out through our play this afternoon," Arizona's Solomon Hill said. "Our focus was that we were playing for the city in this tough time."

Horne, 6-of-7 shooting overall, made all four of his 3-point attempts, two to lift the Wildcats (14-3, 3-1) out of trouble down the stretch. Derrick Williams, coming off a career-high 31 points in Arizona's 73-71 victory over California on Thursday night, made all five of his shots, two of them 3-pointers, to finish with 14.

REWIND: Cal loses nail-biter to Arizona, 73-71

Josh Owens scored 18 and Jeremy Green 15 for Stanford (9-5, 2-1).

There was an increased police presence at the game and fans noted a more thorough search of their belongings than usual.

Before the tip-off, university president Robert Shelton spoke to the crowd from center court, thanking Stanford for its cooperation and praising doctors at nearby University Medical Center "without whose efforts we'd have a lot of dead people right now in Tucson."

Miller held a meeting with the players on Saturday to "paint the picture of the reality of what happened, knowing that basketball was on the back burner."

"Hopefully in some small way, today's game had, in a way, a healing effect on our community," Miller said in his postgame news conference, "where maybe all of us can take our mind off something for a brief moment and kind of be together for a different purpose. It's not easy on anybody. The rescheduling of the game was certainly the right thing."

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said rescheduling the game was "an easy decision."

"We wanted to make sure we respected a tragic situation and a loss of life and injuries," he said.

The Cardinal, down 54-39 with 9 12 minutes to play, outscored Arizona 15-5 to cut it to 59-54 on Green's 15-footer with 4 minutes to play.

Horne's much-needed 3-pointer from the corner boosted the lead to 62-54 with 3:35 remaining. Owens scored inside, drawing Williams' fourth foul in the process, but missed the free throw and Arizona led 62-56 with 3:21 to go. Horne's last 3 put the Wildcats in control for good at 65-56 with 2:26 remaining.

Arizona dominated the boards 41-26 and made 10-of-17 3s to Stanford's 2-of-12. Green, normally the Cardinal's leading scorer, was 5-of-14 shooting, 1 of 5 from 3-point range.

The Wildcats scored the final 10 points of the first half, capped by Horne's rebound dunk at the buzzer, to take a 39-28 lead.

Horne, who had been replaced by Jesse Perry as a starting forward, came off the bench early and played 24 minutes to the scoreless Perry's eight. Horne scored 10 in the first half.

Miller said Horne might get his starting job back when the Wildcats play at home Saturday against Arizona State.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to start," Horne said, "but I'm getting more comfortable coming off the bench and providing the spark."

Green said the Cardinal players respected the sad backdrop to Sunday's game.

"If anything, I think it made both teams want to get out there and play even harder given the tragedy," he said. "There are other things more important and bigger than basketball."

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0 for 4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.