No. 6 Stanford Defeats Cal Again, 53-50

Feb 1, 2003

Berkeley, Calif. - Stanford associate head coach Amy Tucker kept telling Tara VanDerveer to put Nicole Powell in the low post.

She said it once at halftime, and again with 10 minutes left. The Cardinal's head coach finally listened with five minutes remaining - and the idea worked.

The preseason All-America forward scored nine of her 19 points in the final 5:44 and also had 10 rebounds as No. 6 Stanford held off rival California 53-50 on Saturday.

Stanford beat Cal for the fourth straight time and 19th in 20 meetings. It was also the 10th straight win for the Cardinal (17-2, 9-1 Pac-10) at Haas Pavilion.

The Bears (7-12, 3-7) were in the game until going cold on offense late and allowing Stanford to score 13 unanswered points. Powell, the team's leading scorer, made just her second start of the season since returning Jan. 3 from a lower back injury. She also had two assists down the stretch and a blocked shot when Cal had a five-on-three fast break in the final minute.

'Nicole has made some great plays for our team,' VanDerveer said. 'She is a piece of the puzzle that we're putting back in. She's a big piece. Our team has to figure out how to play with Nicole. What a great problem to have.'

Cal's Sarah Pool missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Stanford has won its last four road games by a combined nine points, and has come back in the second half to win five times on the road this season.

The teams played for the second time in four days, and Stanford was coming off one of its best defensive efforts of the season in the 72-48 home victory Wednesday.

Kristin Iwanaga scored 12 points and Leigh Gregory added 11 for the Bears. Nihan Anaz, Cal's second-leading scorer, struggled again. She was 1-for-11 for two points Wednesday, and shot 4-for-23 for nine points Saturday.

The Cardinal was 2-for-7 from 3-point range in the game, season-lows for makes and attempts. Stanford entered the game averaging 19 attempts from long range. It also shot a season-low five free throws.

Stanford's pressure defense wasn't as effective as earlier in the week. It helped that the Bears hit some of their open shots, including two 3-pointers in the first 8� minutes, and were more aggressive taking the ball to the basket and going to the boards.

Stanford has won 29 of the past 32 games in the rivalry that began in 1975.

A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of the seven astronauts killed Saturday when the space shuttle Columbia exploded.


AP Sports Writer

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