No. 1 Cardinal Clears Hurdle, Tops USC 77-71

Feb. 1, 2001


STANFORD, Calif. - In top-ranked Stanford's first big scare of thePac-10 season, the Cardinal's perfect record wasn't safe until the finalseconds.

Casey Jacobsen scored 22 points and Michael McDonald hit the last of his six3-pointers with 50 seconds left as the Cardinal rallied from a halftime deficitto beat No. 21 Southern California 77-71 on Thursday night.

Jason Collins had 20 points and six rebounds as Stanford (20-0, 8-0) keptalive its school-record winning streak, even though the Cardinal didn't takethe lead for good until 6:13 remained.

Brian Scalabrine scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half as thefired-up Trojans never allowed Stanford to pull away. Southern California ledby four with seven minutes left, but consecutive dramatic 3-pointers byJacobsen and McDonald turned the game around.

Jacobsen, held in check by 5-foot-9 Brandon Granville during the first half,scored 18 points in the second half. Collins scored six straight points duringa critical late-game stretch, while his twin brother Jarron hit two clinchingfree throws with 13 seconds left.

Southern California (15-5, 5-3), the first ranked team to visit MaplesPavilion this season, was looking for its first win over a top-ranked teamsince March 6, 1970. In a game that wasn't broadcast on television in LosAngeles or anywhere outside the Bay Area, the Trojans came close to pulling ahuge upset.

David Bluthenthal and Sam Clancy scored 15 points apiece for the Trojans,who lost by 43 points at Maples last season. They led by seven midway throughthe first half and were up 34-31 at halftime thanks to 6-of-7 shooting on3-pointers.

The Trojans also got a near-perfect half from Granville, who hit all threeof his shots - including two 3-pointers - and had five assists in addition tohis defensive contributions. In the second half, however, he managed just fourpoints against McDonald's defense.

The key to the Cardinal's victory was McDonald, even though the conference'sleader in assist-to-turnover ratio had just two assists and three turnovers.Dared to shoot by the Trojans, McDonald hit six of his nine 3-point attempts -all of them seemingly coming whenever the Trojans threatened to open a largelead.

Southern California's conference-best defense was in top form against theCardinal, and Granville led the way. He's 9 inches shorter than the 6-foot-6Jacobsen, but his relentless defense on Stanford's leading scorer kept theTrojans ahead early.

Jacobsen didn't get a shot until 6 1/2 minutes into the game, and he didn'tscore until a layup with 10:55 left in the first half. Granville didn't guardJacobsen as much in the second half, but even with 2:30 left, he sent a messageby undercutting Jacobsen as both players dove for a loose ball.

The Cardinal scored on their first seven possessions of the second halfwhile making an 18-10 run. The Trojans replied with scoring from Scalabrine,who had foul trouble in the first half but went 7-of-12 from the field in thesecond.

Duke was the only other team to lead Stanford at halftime this season.