No. 7 Cardinal Handles Cal, 63-53

Jan. 16, 2004

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

BERKELEY, Calif. - Nicole Powell has become accustomed to being pounded whenever she has the ball, and even when she doesn't.

And she's handling it quite well.

Powell had 25 points and 11 rebounds and No. 7 Stanford remained unbeaten in Pac-10 play, sending rival California to its third straight loss with a 63-53 victory Friday night.

'It's a constant every game,' Powell said. 'They play me really physical. I have to find ways to still be productive.'

Both teams struggled offensively in the first meeting of the season between the schools, but Stanford (14-2, 7-0) did enough late in the game to win ugly.

Susan Borchardt added 19 points for the Cardinal, including 16 in the second half.

'I thought we really did a much better job in the second half,' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. 'We had people make big shots for us. Down the stretch, Susan hit a big 3 and Nicole hit a big 3. Nicole andSusan have really been constants for us.'

Olga Volkova came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points and grab seven rebounds for the Golden Bears (9-7, 2-5) before leaving with 27 seconds left following a hard hit in the nose. Cal has lost five of its last six - but the team's two defeats to the Arizona schools last weekend came by a combined six points.

Nihan Anaz, Cal's leading scorer at 17.1 points per game, scored with 11:53 left to keep Cal within five, 38-33, before Powell scored five quick points. Anaz had 15 points and a career-high nine rebounds.

When the Bears made another threat late in the game, Powell immediately answered with a three-point play with 6:26 remaining.

Powell, the conference's scoring and rebounding leader at 20.5 points and 11.0 boards, made 10 of 25 shots, but Stanford finished 20-for-53 from the field.

Cal used five different players to try to stop Powell.

'Nicole Powell ends up with 25, but I think we did a pretty good job on her to tell you the truth,' Golden Bears coach Caren Horstmeyer said. 'Whenever their team needs a basket, she makes one.'

The Cardinal swept Cal in three meetings last season, including in the Pac-10 tournament in San Jose. But, just like this year, the Bears made their home game at Haas Pavilion competitive, losing 53-50 only three days after a 72-48 defeat at Maples Pavilion.

Powell made a pretty spin move in the first half and hit a short fallaway jumper, but Stanford started slowly on offense, making only 6 of its first 14 shots. The Bears weren't any better, going 5-for-18 to startthe game.

Stanford led 21-20 at halftime, matching its fewest points in a half this season. The Cardinal's lowest total in a game came in a 55-46 loss at Texas Tech last month.

Stanford is 18-10 on Cal's home court, where the Bears haven't beaten the Cardinal since Feb. 12, 1993. Cal set a school home attendance record in Haas Pavilion with a crowd of 3,712.

The Cardinal's 6-foot-3 center Chelsea Trotter missed her third straight game with sore knees. She is expected to return when Stanford plays at UCLA next Thursday.

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