Final - OT
  for this game

Brook Lopez takes over to lead Stanford past Marquette

Mar 23, 2008 - 3:26 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- No coach, no problem for Stanford as long as the Lopez brothers are involved.

Brook Lopez scored 28 of his 30 points in the second half and overtime and his twin brother Robin added 18 to lead the third-seeded Cardinal to an 82-81 overtime win over sixth-seeded Marquette in South Regional second-round action Saturday.

Brook Lopez scored eight points in the extra session, including a leaner from the right of the lane with 1.3 seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Stanford (28-7), which will play the winner of Sunday's battle between Texas and Miami in the regional semifinals.

"Coach (Oliver) called the play," Lopez said of the game-winning shot. "He wanted to bump; he wanted me to post up on the block and just bump my man off. Fred (Washington) did a really good job just getting me open, and then Mitch (Johnson) just gave me a really good pass, you know, so I got a good look. I mean, it was a good look, thanks to Mitch. I was on the floor looking at it, so I don't really know what to say."

Stanford coach Trent Johnson was ejected with 3:36 to play in the first half and his team trailing, 25-24. Johnson was assessed a technical foul for arguing a call, and received a second when he came onto the court to argue the call further.

"Well, obviously if they're going to play this way I think I need to stay away from the games all the time," Johnson said.

"Basically, you know, I was out of line. Bottom line was I was trying to fight for my kids, and there was no profanity or anything like that used, but I had been warned prior to that, and I put our team in a bad situation, and it's unacceptable."

Assistant coach Doug Oliver took over for Johnson and pushed all the right buttons down the stretch with the help of point guard Mitch Johnson, who dished out 15 assists while committing just one turnover.

The extra session came down to a battle between Brook Lopez and Golden Eagles guard Jerel McNeal, who buried three 3-pointers in overtime and finished with 30 points. The Cardinal responded to McNeal's 3-point barrage by feeding the 7-0 sophomore on the inside, and he did not disappoint.

"The main thing, I was just trying to do whatever I could to help my team win," McNeal said. "We just knew we were battling back and forth there for a while, and we just didn't get enough stops down the stretch to come out with a win."

With Brook Lopez battling foul trouble for most of the opening half, Robin Lopez led the way with 10 points in the first 20 minutes to keep Stanford in the game.

"We came in wanting to play inside out, and Robin did a great job of just getting it inside, playing slow, you know, looking what the defense gave him," Brook Lopez said. "If they came to double, you kicked it out. If it was just one-on-one you attacked the basket."

When Oliver took over for the departed Johnson, the Golden Eagles (25-10) immediately ripped off a 14-1 run to push their lead to 36-25 with 1:36 before the break, but the Cardinal recovered to score the final five points of the period to go into the break trailing 36-30.

"We just talked about staying together," Mitch Johnson said about Oliver taking over. "It's kind of been the theme of our team for whatever reason this year. We just really wanted to stay together. Talked about a lot of mental toughness. Coach Oliver got us together very quickly and said, 'Let's just try to end the half out.'"

The Lopez brothers took over at the start of the second half, scoring 13 of the first 16 points before Anthony Goods completed the comeback with a 3-pointer that knotted the score at 49-49 with 13:47 to play.

Goods' shot was part of a 15-4 run that saw Stanford forge a 57-51 lead with 9:21 to play.

But when the Lopez brothers went to the bench following the surge, the Golden Eagles took advantage. Wesley Matthews and McNeal combined for seven unanswered points to spark a 14-2 run that put Marquette back on top, 65-59, with 6:03 remaining.

Brook Lopez came back into the contest and scored 10 of the next 14 points, and Robin Lopez split a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to knot the contest at 71-71 and force overtime.