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Brook Lopez's late free throws lift Stanford

Feb 17, 2008 - 2:36 AM TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Brook Lopez's two free throws with 19 seconds left helped seventh-ranked Stanford squeak out a 67-66 victory over Arizona in the Pac-10 Conference on Saturday.

Lopez finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Cardinal (21-4, 10-3 Pac-10) bounced back from 72-68 loss at Arizona State on Thursday that snapped their seven-game winning streak.

Along with twin brother Robin Lopez, Stanford dominated inside, as the duo combined for 37 points and 18 rebounds.

"It's hard for us to guard them with our front line guys," Arizona coach Kevin O'Neill said. "They are big, agile and hard to guard. They're both going to be NBA players."

It proved tougher down the stretch as Jordan Hill, the Wildcats' top big man, fouled out with 5:27 remaining. It was a questionable call, as Robin Lopez appeared to initiate the contact.

"It was hard having to watch from the bench," said Hill, who finished with five points and four rebounds. "On the last foul, I got back in and had my hands straight up and (the refs) called it. The refs are going to call what they feel. It's frustrating, especially on (the fifth foul)."

After a three-point play by Lawrence Hill with 4:27 remaining, the Cardinal held a 60-52 lead.

However, the Wildcats, who were aiming for their sixth win in eight games, rallied back and eventually knotted the game at 62-62 on a 3-pointer by Jawann McClellan with 2:36 remaining.

After Stanford came up short with two shots attempts the other end, Arizona took its first lead since seven minutes were left in the first half when Chase Budinger converted 1-of-2 free throws.

Although the Cardinal went back ahead on a layup by Brook Lopez, Budinger stepped up for the Wildcats again, hitting a 3-pointer for a 66-65 edge with 56 seconds left.

"I thought our guys played hard," O'Neill said. "Our guys made some shots and gave us a chance to go ahead in the last minute of the game."

Budinger, who finished with 23 points, then was whistled for a questionable foul when he came from behind to block a shot attempt by Brook Lopez.

"I am definitely frustrated," Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless said. "Everything seemed to go their way."

The sophomore center, who finished 9-of-12 from the stripe, made both attempts to regain the lead for Stanford, and Budinger's layup in in the closing moments was partial blocked by Robin Lopez.

Despite some foul issues for Brook Lopez, the 7-foot twins each had three blocks each.

The failed comeback ruined a stellar effort by Bayless, who scored 31 points. It was the third straight outburst with at least 30 points for the freshman guard.

Bayless and Budinger proved to be a two-man wrecking crew, combining for 54 points on 14-of-34 shooting with four 3-pointers.

However, the rest of the Wildcats could only manage 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

The team was shorthanded once again, as starting guard Nic Wise missed his third straight game with a knee injury. The sophomore is fifth in scoring with 8.3 points.