Feb. 15, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - No. 6 Stanford overcame its lowest scoring half of the season to beat No. 3 California 58-41 on Saturday night.
The Cardinal snapped the Golden Bears' 12-game winning streak and put the Bay Area rivals into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 standings. Arizona State is a half-game back.
Stanford's Jayne Appel scored five points in the first half when Stanford (20-4, 11-1) was held to 18. The junior center went 5-for-7 from the field in the second half, allowing Stanford to avoid being swept by Cal for the first time since 1985-86.
Ashley Walker and Laura Greif scored 10 points apiece for the Bears (20-3, 11-1), who had not lost since falling to then-No. 5 Oklahoma 86-75 on Dec. 13. Cal's streak was the fifth-longest in the country.
The Cardinal, winners of the last eight straight Pac-10 titles, made sure they'll have a shot at No. 9 by rallying against their cross-bay rivals with an impressive second half. Stanford went on runs of 13-5 and 19-0 while holding the Bears without a field goal for more than 11 minutes.
Appel was a big reason for that.
Matched against former Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton most of the night, Appel went 7-for-10 from the floor and had her 10th double-double of the season. She also played solid defensively, limiting Hampton to seven points.
Appel's short layup with 4:54 remaining capped a 19-0 run and she later scored on a three-point play to give Stanford a 53-35 lead.
The game was stopped late in the second half after Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen and Cal's Natasha Vital collided heads. Pohlen suffered a big gash on her forehead and had to be helped off the court while Vital remained on the floor for several moments before also being taken off.
The Cardinal have won at least 20 games in eight consecutive seasons under coach Tara VanDerveer. The Cardinal have also won 25 straight regular-season games at Maples Pavilion, their last loss coming against the Bears on Feb. 4, 2007.
Cal didn't have much chance once Stanford got rolling in this one.
It also didn't help that the Bears lost Walker to foul trouble early in the second half. The Pac-10's leading scorer, who struggled with her shot, picked up her second and third fouls in a 23-second span. Shortly after Walker was hit with her third, teammate Alexis Gray-Lawson was also called for her third and joined Walker on the bench.
Cal held a 30-22 lead at the time but struggled to score without Walker and Gray-Lawson. When they both checked back in three minutes later, the Bears' lead had been trimmed to one.
Walker finished 5-for-16 from the floor.
Stanford's rally didn't stop there, however, and Cal never recovered.
That was in direct contrast to the first half, when it was the Bears who took advantage of the Cardinal's shooting slump.
Walker scored six points as part of a 14-5 run that erased a five-point deficit and gave Cal its first lead of the game at 18-14.
Stanford, which had won six straight since losing to Cal in Berkeley on Jan. 18, went cold offensively about the same time. The Cardinal went more than 8 1/2 minutes with just one basket and scored just seven points over the final 11 minutes.
Hampton and Greif closed out the first half with consecutive baskets, giving Cal a 22-18 halftime lead.
The Bears will try to rebound on Thursday, Feb. 19, when they host Oregon at Haas Pavilion. The game, which will be broadcast on Comcast California, will have a special 8 p.m. tip time.