Golden Bears Fall in Battle of Top 10s, 72-52

Jan. 26, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- An historic chapter in the Stanford-Cal rivalry ended in disappointment for the No. 8 Golden Bears. Cal fell 72-52 to the No. 7 Cardinal, the team's first Pac-10 loss.

Candice Wiggins scored 28 points, JJ Hones made a career-high four 3-pointers and seventh-ranked Stanford showed it won't give up its seven-year reign as Pac-10 champions easily, beating No. 8 California 72-52 Saturday.

The Golden Bears (17-3, 8-1 Pac-10) came into the contest with a two-game conference lead and a chance to seize control of the race at the midway point of the season. Instead, the Cardinal (17-3, 7-2) avenged a home loss to Cal from a year ago and gave themselves a chance to win an eighth straight regular season conference title.

With a talented junior class led by reigning conference Player of the Year Devanei Hampton, Ashley Walker and Alexis Gray-Lawson, Cal had reached its highest ranking ever in the AP poll by winning its last nine games.

But Stanford took control from the start, building an 18-point first-half lead and coasting to the finish. The Bears scored the first eight points of the second half, getting a pair of 3-pointers by Gray-Lawson, to cut Stanford's lead to eight. But back-to-back 3-pointers by Hones and Wiggins sparked a 10-2 run that put the Cardinal back up by 16. The lead never got below 10 again.

Jayne Appel had a strong all-around game for Stanford, with nine points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and strong post defense against Hampton.

Gray-Lawson, who missed last year's win at Maples Pavilion with a knee injury, and Rama N'diaye led Cal with 12 points apiece. Walker added 10.

Cal missed a chance to win consecutive games against its biggest rival for the first time since winning eight straight meetings from 1981-86. Tara VanDerveer arrived at Stanford in 1986 and the rivalry has been decidedly one-sided ever since. The Cardinal have won 30 of the past 32 meetings, with 26 of the victories coming by double-digits.

The Bears shot just 6-for-27 in the opening half as their dynamic inside duo of Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker combined to miss 10 of their 12 shots against Stanford's stout defense. Cal coach Joanne Boyle frequently urged her players to push the tempo to try to create some easy baskets, but nothing was working for the Bears.

Stanford went more than 7 minutes without a field goal at one stretch, but maintained a six-point lead because of the ability to get to the foul line.

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