7:00 PM ET, January 26, 2008
Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford's 7-foot Lopez twins are not only long but also wide, packing 515 pounds between them. Even the most agile and athletic of opposing big man is going to have a tough time going over these two.Just ask DeVon Hardin and Ryan Anderson.The brothers have a knack of sneaking up on people on the offensive glass. On Saturday, they showed once again that they are arguably the Pac-10's top tandem in the post.Brook Lopez had 23 points, four rebounds and two blocks, all in the second half after sitting 15 minutes of the first in foul trouble, and the Cardinal (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) held on to beat California 82-77 on Saturday for their third straight victory.Robin Lopez added nine points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots."They're both shot blockers and provide a challenge down in the paint," Hardin said. "[Brook] is a big body and is going to finish every time if he gets on the block."Patrick Christopher scored 16 points, had four assists and helped the Golden Bears get back in the game with his heads-up play over the final 20 minutes, but Cal couldn't find an answer for either Lopez in the paint.Both teams played for the first time in a week, and it wasn't always pretty. Though Stanford (16-3, 5-2) rarely allows an opponent to look good, even in close games like this one.Brook Lopez scored the Cardinal's first six points after halftime, then picked up his third foul before quickly converting a three-point play to make it 41-34. Christopher then hit two 3s as Cal rallied with an 8-2 spurt. The Bears (11-7, 2-5) overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to retake the lead, the fifth time they've done that this season.There were 10 lead changes in the game.Mitch Johnson scored a career high 16 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds for the Cardinal."It was a great win for us," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "As much attention that is paid to Brook and Robin, we got some great contributions from everybody. ... We're getting where we need to be, and that's staying within striking distance of this thing."Anderson was held to 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting and eight rebounds, making a three-point play to tie the game at 51 with 9:27 left -- but Cal certainly missed its leading scorer's typical production of 21.9 points per game.Jerome Randle added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and reserve Jamal Boykin had 14 points and eight rebounds for Cal, which outshot Stanford 47 percent to 41 percent but was outrebounded 42-35. The Bears gave up 21 offensive boards, 10 to Robin Lopez."That's a stat not too many people in the country could get," Cal coach Ben Braun said.Stanford also attempted 38 free throws, making 24, to Cal's 19 attempts."A lot of those free throws came off offensive rebounds," Christopher said. "They get those second-chance shots, that killed us right there. We can score with any team in the country. That's not problem for us. It's the other end of the court, boxing guys out. That's the game right there. This game was about rebounding, flat out."Hardin hacked Brook Lopez with 12:37 left for his fourth foul and left the game. He returned and picked up his fifth with 2:18 to go after scoring consecutive baskets. Hardin finished with 17 points in Cal's third straight loss and fifth in six following a 10-2 start.The Bears were swept by the Arizona schools at home last week, including a 99-90 double-overtime loss to Arizona State (No. 24 AP).Brook Lopez drew his second foul 4:53 into the game and took a seat for the remainder of the half, giving way to Taj Finger. But Lopez had another big second half. He scored every point during a 10-0 run that led Stanford past Arizona State 67-52 on Jan. 17."I got some rest and was able to watch the game," he said of Saturday's first half. "I was just worried about not picking up another foul."With the Lopez twins, Anderson and Hardin, this game featured four of the conference's top big men. Brook Lopez guarded Hardin and Robin took on Anderson, while Hardin and Anderson doubled Brook Lopez at every opportunity.Brook is getting used to seeing two defenders most possessions."I was able to create a lot of easy baskets for the team," he said.This marked the first of two regular-season matchups between the Bay Area rivals after each team won on the other's home court last season. They will meet again on Feb. 24 at Maples Pavilion.After Randle's 3-pointer put Cal up 14-13 at the 12:49 mark of the first half, Stanford went on an 11-0 run for a 24-14 lead -- still with Brook Lopez on the bench. Hardin's basket at 6:36 ended a drought of 6:13 without a field goal by Cal, which produced a 9-0 spurt of its own to get back within 24-23.Stanford led 31-30 at halftime, despite getting outshot 52 percent to 32 percent.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||25-61 (.410)||29-61 (.475)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-22 (.364)||4-11 (.364)|
|FT Made-Attempted||24-38 (.632)||15-19 (.789)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||26 (0/0)|