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Robin Lopez helps Stanford top Washington State in OT

Feb 3, 2008 - 4:27 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Robin Lopez scored five of his nine points in overtime as No. 14 Stanford edged ninth-ranked Washington State, 67-65, in a Pac-10 Conference contest Saturday.

Brook Lopez and Lawrence Hill both scored 18 points for the Cardinal (18-3, 7-2 Pac-10), who pulled out their fifth straight win.

Stanford also completed its first sweep of the Washington schools in six years.

"This is huge," senior forward Taj Finger told the San Jose Mercury News. "As Coach J (Trent Johnson) said, I think we're contenders now and not pretenders. It builds our confidence, and we're rolling right now."

Robin Lopez split two free throws for a 59-57 lead with 3:39 remaining before tipping in a miss by his twin brother, Brook, two minutes later to make it 64-61.

The sophomore center later hit a jumper to rebuild a three-point lead at 66-63 with 14 seconds left before the Cougars' Kyle Weaver was fouled attempting a 3-pointer eight ticks later by Lawrence Hill.

Weaver, who finished with a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, could only make two of three free throws and then fouled out trying to the stop the clock by grabbing Mitch Johnson.

"It was in God's hands to carry the team," Hill told the Mercury News about his poor foul. "I definitely let us down. Luckily, coach doesn't want (me) to go in jail before the season is over."

Mitch Johnson split two free throws before Washington State got a great chance to force another extra session. Taking the inbounds pass and making his way up the left sideline, Taylor Rochestie was able to get a clean shot off before the buzzer sounded but the layup attempt rolled out.

"I was surprised he was able to get all the way to the rim like that," teammate Derrick Low told the newspaper. "I think he was a little surprised too. That's just the way the game goes."

Low had 19 points and Robbie Cowgill chipped in 11 for the Cougars (17-4, 5-4), who shot 34.5 percent (19-of-55) from the field in failing to bounce back from their first home loss of the season.

Dropping a 69-64 decision here to California on Thursday, Washington State has now lost three of its last four games.

The Cougars were trailing 56-54 after Brook Lopez converted two foul shots with a minute left in regulation, and were forced to settle for a tie game with 15 seconds left after Weaver twice split two attempts from the stripe.

Stanford had a chance to capture its third road win in the Pac-10 in four attempts at the end of regulation, but Brook Lopez was forced into taking a fadeway jumper from the left wing and Taj Finger was off the mark on a follow attempt.

Neither team seemed able to put the game away in the closing minutes of regulation due to spotty free-throw shooting. Washington State missed six of 10 from the stripe inside the final 2 1/2 minutes while Stanford split six attempts over that same span.

Overall, the Cougars went 24-of-33 (73 percent) on free throws compared to 61.5 percent (16-of-26) for the Cardinal.

Mitch Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds and Finger added eight and eight for Stanford, which finished with a 44-29 advantage on the boards.

Robbie Cowgill contributed 11 points for Washington State, which will have a tough time trying to get back on track when it hosts No. 5 UCLA on Thursday.