No. 6 Stanford Sneaks Past Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. - Nicole Powell scored seven of her 19 points in thefinal 5:44 and also had 10 rebounds as No. 6 Stanford held off rival California53-50 on Saturday.
Stanford beat Cal for the fourth straight time and 19th in 20 meetings. Itwas also the 10th straight win for the Cardinal (17-2, 9-1 Pac-10) at HaasPavilion.
The Bears (7-12, 3-7) were in the game until going cold on offense late andallowing Stanford to score 13 unanswered points. Powell also had an assist downthe stretch and a blocked shot when Cal had a five-on-three fast break in thefinal minute.
Cal's Sarah Pool missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The teams played for the second time in four days, and Stanford was comingoff one of its best defensive efforts of the season in the 72-48 home victoryWednesday.
Kristin Iwanaga scored 12 points and Leigh Gregory added 11 for the Bears,who had a season-low 11 turnovers. Nihan Anaz, Cal's second-leading scorer,struggled again. She was 1-for-11 for two points Wednesday, and shot 4-for-23for nine points Saturday.
Sebnem Kimyacioglu, Stanford's third-leading scorer at 10.6 points per game,was held scoreless for the first time all season on 0-for-5 shooting.
The Cardinal often forced the ball to Powell, their leading scorer makingher second start of the season since returning Jan. 3 from a lower back injury.Stanford also was sloppy starting the second half and struggled to controlloose balls.
The Cardinal were 2-for-7 from 3-point range in the game, season-lows formakes and attempts. Stanford entered the game averaging 19 attempts from longrange. It also shot a season-low five free throws.
Cal built a 37-32 lead on a basket by Olga Volkova, and made it 40-36 on a3-pointer by Iwanaga with 10:38 left. She scored again at 7:43 after Anaz stolea Stanford inbounds pass and flipped a behind-the-back pass to Iwanaga as Anazwas falling out of bounds. Gregory followed with a 3-pointer as the shot clockexpired, only her second of the season, for a 46-38 lead at 6:46.
Stanford's pressure defense wasn't as effective as earlier in the week. Ithelped that the Bears hit their open shots, including two 3-pointers in thefirst 8ï¿½ minutes, and were more aggressive taking the ball to the basket andgoing to the boards.
Cal shot only 33 percent to Stanford's 46 percent. But the Bears trailedonly 28-27 at halftime, partly because they shot seven more times than theCardinal and had nine offensive rebounds.
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 sevenastronauts killed Saturday when the space shuttle Columbia exploded.