for this game

Brook Lopez leads Stanford charge past Washington State

Mar 2, 2008 - 4:29 AM PALO ALTO, California (Ticker) -- Stanford showed that it is never out of a game as long as it has Brook Lopez.

Lopez scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half as the eighth-ranked Cardinal rallied for a 60-53 victory over No. 22 Washington State in the Pac-10 Conference on Saturday.

Robin Lopez added 11 points for Stanford (24-4, 13-3 Pac-10), which captured its fourth straight win, sweeping the season series with the Cougars.

Looking to avoid its sixth loss in its last seven meetings with Stanford, Washington State (22-7, 10-7) scored the game's first nine points and held a 13-point lead late in the first half.

However, the Cougars had no answer for Brook Lopez after intermission, as the 7-footer made 8-of-12 shots to bring the Cardinal back.

"That one stings," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Brook Lopez had 10 points in the opening eight minutes of the second half, closing Stanford within 42-40.

Although Washington State managed to retake a five-point lead at 47-42 after Nikola Koprivica's three-point play with 8:55 to play, Stanford continued its charge.

After a layup by Brook Lopez, Taj Finger tied the score at 51-51 on a 3-pointer with 4:08 remaining. The Cardinal went ahead 30 seconds later on a free throw by Anthony Goods.

"We were more aggressive in the first half," Washington State forward Robbie Cowgill told the paper. "They were more aggressive in the second half. That was the difference."

Kyle Weaver came back to make two free throws for the Cougars, but Brook Lopez rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Goods before dunking and also converted two foul shots for a 56-53 edge with 1:39 left.

That would be a decisive lead for Stanford, which finished 18-of-25 (72 percent) on free throws. Washington State attempted just 10 foul shots.

Derrick Low had 14 points - all in the first half - for the Cougars.

Low, who finished 5-of-14 from the field, made consecutive 3-pointers for a 17-8 lead with 10:44 left in the first half. He added his third basket from the arc 2 1/2 minutes later and completed a three-point play to make it 27-14 with 4:04 left.

"Derrick had a heck of a first half," Bennett said to the Post-Intelligencer. "They were more aware of him (in the second half). He had to keep hunting for shots. I didn't feel he did."

Although it did go into the intermission with a 33-22 lead, Washington State could have been up more had it not fallen asleep on the final play of the first half.

With Stanford inbounding the ball near its own basket with two seconds left, the Cougars allowed Brook Lopez a open lane to the basket. The sophomore took the pass and went right up for a dunk, giving the Cardinal some momentum heading into the break.

With Brook Lopez stepping up the make shots in the second half, Stanford also raised its effort on the defensive end, limiting Washington State to just 20 points.

The Cougars, who shot 50 percent (13-of-26) before the break, were held to 7-of-24 (29 percent) in the second half.

"From the 10-minute mark on (in the second half), I thought we were as good as we have been all year defensively," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said to the newspaper.