Cardinal Come Back To Beat Beavers

Jan 10, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - Matt Lottich received a standing ovation from theremaining crowd nearly 30 minutes after Stanford's 57-54 victory over OregonState on Thursday night.

The ovation was deserved as Lottich, who returned to the court for a radiointerview, helped rescue the Cardinal from what would have been a disastrousloss.

Lottich scored 18 of his career-high 23 points in the final 7:12 as Stanfordrallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to win their Pac-10 homeopener.

'I just got hot,' said Lottich. 'I've been 0-for-the world for the lastfew weeks. It was a great confidence builder for me. We had been playing sopassively and with no energy. I was able to get open and get that first shotin. As soon as the crowd heated up so did we.'

Rob Little, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first careerdouble-double, sank a pair of free throws with 26 seconds to play to put theCardinal (10-4, 1-1) in the lead for good at 56-54. Julius Barnes added a freethrow 15 seconds later and a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer by OregonState's Brian Jackson fell short.

'We were very fortunate to win,' said Stanford coach Mike Montgomery.'Oregon State did everything they wanted to do against us for the first 35minutes. We were out of synch and Lottich saved us.'

The comeback victory saved Stanford from two losses to open conference playfor the first time in 12 years.

J.S. Nash scored a season-high 13 points to lead Oregon State (7-5, 0-3),which has lost its last 10 at Stanford. Philip Ricci added 10 points.

'We gave everything we had in this game,' said Oregon State coach JayJohn. 'During the season you're going to have bumps along the way and this wasone of them. We should have won the game but they got one guy who got hot.'

Lottich rallied Stanford by scoring 13 points within three minutes,including three 3-pointers, as the Cardinal closed to within 51-48 with 3:43remaining.

'We started playing harder in every phase of the game,' said Lottich,'and the ball started falling our way. We seemed tentative but it all changedin last five minutes.'

Stanford won despite matching a season-low in points against theconference's best defensive team. The Cardinal, the Pac-10's second bestdefensive team, held the Beavers to an opponent low in points.

Stanford played without junior forward Justin Davis, the Pac-10's leadingrebounder, who sprained the MCL in his left knee against California onSaturday.

The Cardinal used a different starting lineup for the first time this seasonas result of Davis' injury.

Jackson played despite aggravating an abdominal strain in a loss to Arizonaon Saturday.

The Beavers maintained a double-digit lead through most of the second half,leading by 15 with 12:18 left to play.

Oregon State suffered a shooting drought midway through the second half,missing 18 of 21 shots, to allow the Cardinal to rally.

'We couldn't make the adjustment to find Lottich,' said John. 'That wasall Stanford had and he made some big shots.'

Lottich made two free throws with 1:22 left to give Stanford its first leadof the game at 54-53.

David Lucas made one of two free throws to tie the game for the Beavers withless than a minute to play.

Oregon State, which never trailed, scored the first seven points of the gameas the Cardinal turned the ball over on each of their first six possessions.Stanford committed 12 turnovers and shot 38.5 percent from the floor in thefirst half.

The Beavers led by as many as 12 and took a 33-23 halftime lead.

Montgomery was honored for his 500th career victory, which he attained atLas Vegas on Dec. 21, in a brief ceremony following the game.

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