Stanford Makes Easy Work of UC Irvine
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Stanford coach Mike Montgomery liked his team's defensive effort, and that led to an easy victory.
Julius Barnes, the team's only senior starter, scored 24 points, and No. 17 Stanford avoided its first three-game losing streak outside the Pac-10 Conference since 1969 with an 84-57 victory Thursday night over UC Irvine.
'Effort was the key factor in the win,' said Montgomery, who needs one victory for 500 in his career. 'It's amazing how well the ball goes in the hole when you defend harder on the other end.'
Josh Childress added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (6-3), who had lost three of their previous four games since an upset victory over nationally ranked Florida in the Preseason NIT. Dan Grunfeld added 12 points and Rob Little 11.
Greg Ethington scored 13 points to lead the Anteaters (3-3), who had won three in a row. Jordan Harris added 12.
Stanford scored a season-high for points, and UC Irvine was held to a season low.
'They were just bullseye from the outside tonight and we couldn't handle them,' UC Irvine coach Pat Douglass said. 'The zone hurt us in spots, and it seemed to help them on the boards.'
Stanford, which has beaten Big West Conference teams 22 consecutive times, had not lost three in a row since 1997. Stanford hasn't lost to a Big West school since a 1977 defeat at UC Santa Barbara.
'We learned a real lesson earlier this week,' Montgomery said. 'The team has stuff going on with not respecting our opponents. This is a young team in many ways. You can't come into a game and not be ready to play 100 percent.'
The Cardinal shot a season-high 67.4 percent as they rebounded from two losses in their own tournament - the first time that's happened.
'We were focused and aggressive,' Montgomery said. 'We needed this win badly. It was a confidence builder.'
The Anteaters last played 12 days ago, when they set school records for margin of victory and fewest points allowed in a 91-23 victory over Division III Pomona-Pitzer.
Stanford has won all four meetings with UC Irvine, though the teams hadn't played since the Cardinal won 117-87 in 1990.
Childress recorded his second double-double of the season and the third of his career.
'This game felt really good,' said Barnes, 9-of-13 overall. 'We came out aggressively and set the tone for the game. That's what we'd like to do every night.'
Stanford outscored the Anteaters 17-3 in the first four minutes of the second half to open a 55-25 lead. Irvine got no closer than 22 points the rest of the way.
The Cardinal took control of the game with an early 14-2 run that gave them a 20-8 lead. Barnes scored eight of the points.
Stanford shot 71.4 percent in the first half, with Barnes - who entered the game shooting 37 percent - leading the way. He made seven of eight shots in the first half, including all three 3-point tries.
None of the six Cardinal players who attempted a shot in the first half missed more than once.
Barnes sank a shot in the final seconds to give Stanford a 38-22 lead at halftime.