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January 26, 2007
Stanford spoils USC's entry into Top 25
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STANFORD, Calif. -Brook Lopez blocked a school-record 12 shots to go along with 18 points and 11 rebounds, helping Stanford spoil No. 25 Southern California's first game as a ranked team in five years with a 65-50 victory Thursday night.
Lopez dominated the inside for the Cardinal (13-5, 5-3 Pac-10) and overwhelmed the Trojans, scoring six points and blocking three shots during a 12-0 run that put the Cardinal up 22 midway through the second half.
The triple-double was the first since at least 1985 for the Cardinal. School records further back weren't immediately available.
After USC (15-6, 5-3) answered with a 13-0 run to cut it to nine, Lopez hit a jumper to end a scoreless stretch of 7:10 for the Cardinal. He blocked his 11th shot and then scored on an alley-oop from Anthony Goods with about 2 minutes left to thwart USC's final comeback attempt.
Lopez's 12 blocks - nearly as many as his total of 13 coming into the game - were as many as any team ever had against the Trojans, matching the 11 blocks for Wyoming in 1983. Along with three blocks by twin brother Robin and four for Lawrence Hill, Stanford set a school record with 19 blocks and held USC to 28 percent shooting.
Hill added 18 points and nine rebounds and Anthony Goods had 10 points for the Cardinal.
USC went on a 9-0 run early in the second half to cut Stanford's lead to 10. But the Lopez twins took over after that to put the game out of reach. Robin Lopez started the 12-0 run with a dunk.
Brook Lopez blocked Taj Gibson twice on one trip, giving him a school record seven blocks and hit a turnaround jumper to make it 45-29. Lopez added his eighth block about a minute later and scored again at the other end.
After Hill blocked Young for Stanford's school record 14th, Lopez's dunk capped the run and made it 51-29 with 11:12 to go.
USC had won four of five games to move into the AP poll for the first time in five years. It seemed as if it would take almost as long for the Trojans to score a basket.
With the Lopez twins prowling the lane and protecting the hoop, the Trojans struggled even to get the ball on the rim as the twins blocked or altered nearly every shot. USC missed its first eight shots and the closest the Trojans came to scoring a basket early came when a pass by Lodrick Stewart hit the rim.
Young scored the first basket for USC 6:40 into the game after eight misses, cutting Stanford's lead to 12-4. The Lopez block party didn't slow down, with Brook Lopez blocking his fifth shot of the game with 8:23 to play in the half and Robin getting his third about a minute later.
Even when the 7-foot twins weren't in position to block a shot, USC's players missed easy shots inside as if they were waiting for the block to come.
Young scored USC's first four baskets and no one else made a hoop until Gibson's jumper with 6:56 to go cut Stanford's lead to 24-15.
But the Cardinal went on a 10-1 after that, getting 3-pointers from Hill and Mitch Johnson, to build the lead back to 18.
The opening half went so well for Stanford that Goods even banked in a 3-pointer from straightaway in the final minute to put the Cardinal up 19. USC shot 7-for-30 in the half, with 10 of the misses coming on blocks, and trailed 37-20 at the break.