No. 3 Stanford Tops Cal To Take Conference Lead
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - Matt Lottich scored 15 points and No. 3 Stanfordstayed unbeaten with a 68-61 victory over California on Saturday night in thefirst meeting of the season between the rivals.
Justin Davis added 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals in Stanford's11th straight win against Cal at Maples Pavilion, where a sellout crowd of7,391 watched the Cardinal elevate their game in an up-tempo second half.
Stanford jumped into the passing lanes, hit the floor for loose balls, wenthard to the boards and pressured Cal's talented perimeter shooters before theGolden Bears made a late surge.
Richard Midgley led the comeback attempt for Cal (6-8, 2-3 Pac-10), scoringall 19 of his points in the second half. Midgley's 3-pointer with 3:30 leftpulled the Bears within 57-52. He had another from long range in the finalminute and also a three-point play before fouling out with 17 seconds left.Amit Tamir added 15 points.
Stanford (14-0, 5-0), the only undefeated team in the top five, has won 12of the last 14 meetings between the schools.
After No. 1 Connecticut's loss at ninth-ranked North Carolina on Saturday,the Cardinal will probably move up to No. 2 in the next poll behind Duke. Andthey also took over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 after UCLAlost for the first time in conference play to No. 7 Arizona on Saturday.
The rowdy Stanford student section began chanting disparaging things morethan 45 minutes before tipoff - and many waited up to six hours to get primeseats. Then they began barraging Bears freshman star Leon Powe with insults,but he just smiled and kept shooting during warm ups.
Powe, who often has faced double-teams this season, had 12 points and ninerebounds. Rob Little made an impressive one-handed dunk over Powe early in thesecond half. Little had another dunk in transition moments later for a 38-28Stanford lead that forced Cal to call timeout with 15:51 remaining.
Davis' dunk with 12:25 left capped a 13-3 run as the Cardinal made it 46-31.
Cal freshman Marquise Kately - one of three freshmen in the Bears' startinglineup - had scored in double figures in his last three games, but was held toseven.
The Bears have been limiting teams to 62 points per game, their best defensesince they held teams to 61.8 points in 1984-85 when there wasn't a 35-secondshot clock.
The Cardinal looked sluggish early, starting the game 6-of-16 to Cal's4-for-16. The teams combined for nine quick turnovers. Stanford used an 15-5run late in the half to take a 24-17 halftime lead - the Cardinal'ssecond-lowest halftime total behind the 22 points they had in the first half ina win at Rice on Nov. 30. Cal shot 31.6 percent in the first half and committed10 turnovers.
Stanford issued credentials to 79 members of the media, the second-most everfor a game at Maples Pavilion - behind only the Cardinal's matchup againstConnecticut on Feb. 6, 1999.