STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford is heading into Pac-10 play on
its longest winning streak in four seasons, even if the Cardinal's
latest win wasn't one of their prettiest.
Brook Lopez scored 19 points and 12 rebounds against his
hometown team, and Stanford (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today) had a sluggish finish to the
nonconference season, beating Fresno State 55-48 Saturday for its
seventh straight win.
"We didn't play very well. It's a good thing when you don't
play very well and you win," coach Trent Johnson said. "The
bottom line is we didn't play well but we managed to win. It's over
with and done with and now we have a new season."
Lopez, who starred at Fresno's Memorial High School with his
twin brother and Stanford teammate Robin, overwhelmed the Bulldogs
(7-6) with his 7-foot size and dominating presence on both ends of
the court in his first start of the season.
Brook Lopez came off the bench the previous two games after
missing the first 10 because he was academically ineligible. He has
shown few signs of rust, averaging 19.3 points in his three games
and showing that the Cardinal (11-1) will be a contender when
conference play begins next week.
"I like going into any game knowing we have two dinosaurs down
there," guard Anthony Goods said. "It opens things up for me as
well as opens things up for the post. He's definitely one of the
best players out there."
The Cardinal open Pac-10 play at home on Thursday night against
No. 5 UCLA and play Southern California (No. 24 AP) two days later.
That will be a big step up in competition from a nonconference
schedule that didn't include games against any ranked teams.
"It's always good to open up against arguably the best team in
the conference," Goods said. "It's a good test for us early. I
look forward to it."
Stanford's winning streak is its longest since opening the
2003-04 season 26-0 in Mike Montgomery's final season as coach.
But the Cardinal will have to play much better to continue the
streak next week. Stanford shot just 40 percent, committed 14
turnovers, was outrebounded for the first time all season and set a
season-low in points.
They led by only five with 7 minutes to go. But Goods hit a
3-pointer and Brook Lopez fed Robin for an easy basket that made it
44-34 with 5:53 to go. Robin Lopez wasn't nearly as effective as
his brother, committing three turnovers and two fouls in four
first-half minutes and finishing with six points and three
Goods scored 16 points, hitting three 3-pointers and also
scoring on an emphatic baseline dunk over Hector Hernandez early in
the second half.
"They're big guys," Bell said. "It definitely was an
experience. They're great talents, great players. Hopefully I don't
have to see too much of that in the WAC, two big guys like that.
But I had fun."
Stanford got off to a sluggish start by missing seven of its
first 10 shots and committing seven turnovers in the opening 9
minutes. But after taking a 13-6 lead, Fresno State was unable to
do anything right offensively.
The Bulldogs went nearly 9 minutes without scoring, missing all
nine shots and turning the ball over six times in the drought.
"They're always a tough to team to score against," coach Steve
Cleveland said. "They have so much size and so much length that
Brook Lopez took over at the other end for the Cardinal, scoring
eight of Stanford's 13 points in that stretch, helping the Cardinal
take a six-point lead. Stanford led 26-21 at the half.
Fresno State made its first trip to The Farm since 1954. The
schools renewed the series last year in Fresno, when the Lopez's
helped the Cardinal win 69-67 in their homecoming. The Bulldogs'
only win in nine tries against Stanford came in the schools'
initial meeting back in 1927, a 23-21 victory.