Lopez pours in 21 as Cardinal keep Huskies at bay

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford knew it would have to get through the dog days of its Pac-10 schedule to stay in the running for the conference title.

After hanging on for an ugly victory over the Washington Huskies, the eighth-ranked Cardinal can prepare for the main events.

Brook Lopez had 21 points and seven rebounds, and Stanford struggled before holding off Washington 82-79 Thursday night to keep the Huskies winless at Maples Pavilion since 1993.

Anthony Goods added 16 points for the Cardinal (23-4, 12-3 Pac-10), who couldn't break away from the eighth-place Huskies despite never trailing in their school-record 15th home victory of the season. Stanford has won 10 of 11 overall heading into Saturday's home finale against No. 22 Washington State, followed by a trip to UCLA next week.

Stanford is guaranteed to finish at least runner-up in the Pac-10, but the Cardinal clearly aren't at their sharpest. Coach Trent Johnson hopes his team can shake its doldrums in time to make a run at the title.

"It was nice to win, but we weren't very good defensively, and I guess I've got to take responsibility," Johnson said. "This is the third straight game we got outphysicaled, outrebounded. We were just not as active, and that's what concerns me. We're excited we won, but we also realize we can play better at this time of the year. [Giving up] 79 points at home -- that's not us."

Jon Brockman had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (15-14, 6-10), who repeatedly pulled within a basket of taking the lead in the second half. But Washington always failed to go ahead despite Brockman's outstanding play, and Stanford hung on with a series of free throws and Taj Finger's exceptionally tough layup with 1:07 to play.

"We were in the game the whole way, but we could have been closer or ahead with some better free throw shooting," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, whose club went 7-for-16 at the line. "It's frustrating to play this hard and well and still lose, but it was overall a very good effort on the road. If we had played all season as well as we played the last six games, we'd have won half again as many games and would be near the top of the conference."

Mitch Johnson had 14 points and Robin Lopez added 10 for the Cardinal, whose lead was trimmed to two points by Ryan Appleby's 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds to play. Finger hit one of two free throws moments later, but Appleby's three-quarter-court heave wasn't close.

"We had to match their intensity," Mitch Johnson said. "The five guys on the court had to get it done. We kept making big plays, but that's something we definitely had to show."

Quincy Pondexter, the Lopez twins' high school teammate in Fresno, added 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting for Washington, which hasn't won at Stanford in its last 15 tries. The Huskies lost for the seventh time in 10 games despite controlling the tempo and boards for much of the second half.

"Our main problem was that we couldn't execute early on," Pondexter said. "We got better as the game went on, but it just wasn't enough. We kept scrapping, but we're not the most talented team in the league. We have to get more loose balls and do the dirty work in order to win."

Stanford went to 15-1 this season at Maples Pavilion, improving on the school record of 14 home victories reached in six other seasons. The Cardinal also kept the pressure on first-place UCLA in the Pac-10 race, which could come down to Stanford's visit to Westwood.

Brockman had 12 points in the second half. Brockman, who has seven consecutive double-doubles, scored three straight baskets during a key second-half stretch, twice pulling Washington within one point of the lead.

"We decided before the game that we were going to take it right to [the Lopez twins]," Brockman said. "We knew we were going to get some blocks against us ... but we had plenty of good looks. My problem was I missed too many chippies that I should have made."

Stanford reeled off an 11-4 run that included four points from Johnson, and Lopez added a handful of key scores against the school he beat for a career-high 31 points last month.

"We've always enjoyed going at each other," Lopez said of his play against Pondexter. "It's always good to go out and have a little fun."

Brockman added a little spice to the rivalry with an intentional foul at midcourt on Lawrence Hill with 23.4 seconds to play, sending the Stanford crowd into roars of indignation even before Hill missed both free throws.