No. 22 WSU Falls to Strong Rally by No. 8 Stanford
March 1, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Lopez scored 19 of his 25 points after halftime, pulled down six rebounds and helped No. 8 Stanford maintain its Pac-10 title hopes with a hard-fought 60-53 victory over No. 22 Washington State on Saturday.
Lopez was 11-for-16 from the field and had four blocks. He dunked on a putback with 2:52 to play to give the Cardinal the lead for good and converted two free throws at 1:39.
Stanford's sixth win in seven games sets up a showdown with first-place and fourth-ranked UCLA in Westwood on Thursday night with the conference championship at stake.
Robin Lopez added 11 points and four rebounds and Anthony Goods scored 10 points for the Cardinal (24-4, 13-3) in their sixth straight win at home since a 76-67 loss to UCLA on Jan. 3. They squeaked by Washington 82-79 on Thursday.
Taj Finger's 3-pointer with 4:03 to play tied the game at 51 and Stanford went ahead on Goods' free throw the next time down.
The comeback was fitting on a day Stanford honored its four departing players at midcourt before tipoff of the team's final home game - three seniors and junior Kenny Brown, who is headed to dental school. Coach Trent Johnson started Brook Lopez, Brown and the seniors: Fred Washington, Finger and Peter Prowitt. But he quickly went to his regulars 2:06 into the contest.
Brook Lopez banked in a jumper and was fouled with 7:58 to go and made the free throw to make it 47-45. WSU's Kyle Weaver made a bad pass for a turnover with 9:35 to play, then fouled Goods beyond the arc for three free throws. Goods made only one, getting Stanford within 44-42 with 9:08 left.
Stanford, which also beat the Cougars in Pullman 67-65 in overtime on Feb. 2, opened the second half with a 6-1 spurt to pull within 35-28.
The Cougars (22-7, 10-7) had won five of six since a three-game skid that included the defeat to Stanford at Friel Court.
This was exactly the kind of low-scoring affair it was expected to be considering the teams' defensive-oriented styles.
Lopez and his brother combined to score 10 straight Stanford points midway through the second half and Brook pounded his chest after his basket with 11:56 to play pulled the Cardinal within 42-40 and forced Cougars coach Tony Bennett to call time out.
A near-capacity crowd watched as the Cougars played stingy defense and matched up well with the 7-foot Lopez twins in the paint - for the first half at least.
Johnson was hit with a technical foul for coming onto the court and arguing with 4:14 left in the first half after Goods appeared to get fouled beyond the 3-point line moments earlier. It swung the momentum even more in the Cougars' favor.
Taylor Rochestie made both free throws, then Low converted a three-point play the next time down for a 27-14 Washington State lead.
The Cougars led 33-22 at halftime after Stanford shot 8-for-23 from the field.