Stanford Cruises Past Santa Clara, 74-48

Dec. 19, 2007

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Brook Lopez returned from being academically ineligible and had 20 points and six rebounds in his season debut, and Stanford avenged a loss on its home floor last season to Santa Clara with a 74-48 victory Wednesday night for its fifth straight win.

Lawrence Hill added 16 points and eight rebounds and Taj Finger 10 points and 11 boards as the Cardinal (9-1) played their first game in two weeks following a break for final exams. They had dropped two in a row to their Peninsula rival of the West Coast Conference since a 78-63 victory on Dec. 30, 2000, losing last year and in 2004.

Lopez had been limited to practicing so far this season until he raised his grades. He hit his first basket with a 15-foot jumper at 14:20, on the floor at the same time as his 7-foot twin, Robin. Santa Clara was quickly reminded of the matchup problem the twins present to opposing teams. Their older brother, Alex, played for Santa Clara from 1997-99.

Brook Lopez looked a little out of sorts at times early but made a putback at 12:09 after finding his rhythm. He made back-to-back baskets in the post in the final two minutes of the first half while playing strong defense on the other end, too.

John Bryant scored 17 points to go with nine boards and Brody Angley had 10 points but Santa Clara couldn't overcome a poor first half in which the Broncos shot a season-low 23 percent (5-for-22) for a half and were held to their worst points total of 17. Their total of 48 was a season low after twice being held to 48 last season.

Santa Clara (7-4) struggled from the floor the entire first half and was held scoreless for 5 minutes, 46 seconds after a pair of free throws by Bryant at 11:57 until his basket at 6:11. The Broncos went nearly nine minutes without a made field goal.

After Robin Lopez's big blocked shot against Cedric Latimer, Anthony Goods had an uncontested two-handed dunk on the other end for a 22-7 lead.

Goods then hit two 3-pointers early as Stanford quickly extended its 29-17 halftime lead with a 23-4 run after the break that put the Cardinal up 52-21 with 12:13 to play. It certainly didn't look like Stanford's first game following an extended break, save for an exhibition contest last weekend. Next up for Stanford will be a tough trip to Texas Tech to face Bob Knight's Red Raiders on national television Saturday.

Goods finished with 11 points and four assists. The Cardinal, who play only four times in December, shot 44 percent and held a 40-23 rebounding advantage.

While they weren't always sharp, Stanford crashed the boards early -- getting three from -- Finger in the first four minutes -- to create second and third opportunities.

The Cardinal had eight offensive rebounds in the first nine minutes to none for Santa Clara, already having attempted 17 shots before the midway point of the half to only 10 for the Broncos.

Both teams were cold on offense early, with Stanford starting 6-for-19 to 2-of-11 for Santa Clara.

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