Golden Bears Defeated By No. 17 Stanford
March 8, 2003
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - Matt Lottich's lousy shooting in Stanford's first game against rival California was still fresh in his mind, and he was determined to play better this time.
Lottich scored 14 points, making 4-of-8 3-pointers, and also had four rebounds and two assists as the No. 17 Cardinal continued their dominance of Cal at home, defeating the No. 22 Golden Bears 72-60 Saturday night to finish second in the Pac-10 Conference.
'I didn't have any doubts today about my shooting,' said Lottich, who went 0-for-5 and missed all three of his 3-pointers in a 72-59 Stanford loss Jan. 4 in Berkeley.
'This was a personal thing for me because I didn't score against Cal in the first game this year,' he said. 'I was going to make sure that I had some looks. I came out and hit the first one and I knew it was going to be my night.'
Josh Childress had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Stanford (23-7, 14-4), which earned the second seed behind No. 1 Arizona in the conference tournament next week in Los Angeles. The Cardinal snapped a two-game losing streak to Cal.
The Golden Bears (20-7, 13-5) were lifeless most of the first half, getting dominated on the boards and outhustled to loose balls, and couldn't get in sync on either end of the court.
Brian Wethers had four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 16 points, but Cal shot 33 percent. Stanford sealed the game with 3-pointers by Lottich, Julius Barnes and Childress in the final minutes.
The Bears considered this game one of their better shots at ending a decade of frustration in Maples Pavilion. The Bears haven't won here since an 86-61 victory on Feb. 14, 1993, a span of 10 games.
The Cardinal flustered Joe Shipp, the conference's leading scorer at 21 points per game, in the first half. They got a hand in his face and made it difficult for him to shoot. He was held to seven in the half and finished with 14 on 4-for-10 shooting.
In an example of how this game went for Cal, Shipp had a free throw negated with 11:25 left in the game because he wasn't supposed to be the shooter. Conor Famulener had been fouled, so Shipp stepped aside and Famulener went to the line and hit both his attempts.
Shipp, a senior, was happy to be done playing at Maples.
'I never won a game here,' Shipp said. 'It's just a hostile environment and Stanford always elevates its game here.'
Forward Amit Tamir, Cal's second-leading scorer with a 16.7 average, was 1-for-12 for a season-low two points.
'Our shot selection hurt us at times,' Cal coach Ben Braun said. 'Stanford played really solid team defense and their bench played fantastic.'
Wethers made a 3-pointer with 10:02 left to pull Cal within 49-43 and another at 8:22 to bring the Bears within 52-48. Joe Kirchofer made two key baskets in the final eight minutes and was a force on the boards for the Cardinal, whose bench had its second-best output of the season with 24 points.
'We just wanted to make sure that our seniors went out in style,' said Kirchofer, a junior who finished with eight points and six rebounds. 'You can't ask for much more than what I got tonight. The ball seemed to come to the hole I was in.'
Stanford's tree mascots were out in force - all five of them attended the game, dancing across the court before the game and during breaks, creating a forest of sorts. And the band played for about a half-hour after the game as fans celebrated the big win.
Stanford, which had its season-best six-game winning streak snapped in a 72-69 loss to No. 1 Arizona on March 1, has won 11 of 14 and 10 of 11 at home.
Rob Little's rebounding gave the Cardinal several second-chance opportunities early. He had five boards in the first five minutes and 10 for the game.
Cal made only 6-of-20 field goals to start the game, and was 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.
Stanford used a 21-5 spurt late in the first half to build an 18-point lead, 37-19, with 1:38 before halftime. But Cal scored the final seven points of the half to pull within 37-26 at halftime. The Bears missed 12 straight shots in one span and shot 29.6 percent.
The Cardinal have been holding opponents to a league-low 68 points per game while Cal has been giving up 71.2 points.
The Bears came into Saturday's game looking for their most conference wins since the 1993-94 season when they also won 13 in Pac-10 play.