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February 17, 2007

No. 15 Oregon falls to Stanford 88-69

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STANFORD, Calif. -Brook Lopez scored a career-high 26 points and keyed a big second-half run that helped Stanford beat No. 15 Oregon for the 21st consecutive time at Maples Pavilion, 88-69 Saturday night.

The Cardinal (17-8, 9-5 Pac-10) wrapped up their 14th straight home sweep against the Oregon schools and gave their NCAA tournament hopes a big boost with their fifth win of the season against a ranked opponent.

The Ducks' once solid tournament credentials took a hit after being swept in the Bay Area by California and Stanford for the seventh straight season. Oregon (20-7, 8-7) has lost six of eight games overall and will try to recover with three home games to end the season.

The Ducks went on a 9-2 run to open the second half and take their first lead since the opening minutes. The game stayed closed until Lopez sparked a 15-0 run for Stanford midway through the half that put the Cardinal up 74-56.

Lopez blocked Maarty Leunen and then scored on the other end to make it 63-56. After a basket by Lawrence Hill, Lopez scored seven straight points with a long jumper, a three-point play and a dunk.

The Ducks were held scoreless for 6:38 during the run, including two missed free throws by Malik Hairston, as they were once again done in by a long scoring drought. Oregon was blanked in the final 6:08 of the first half and 4:31 of the game in Thursday's 63-61 loss at Cal.

By the time Hairston ended the drought with a 3-pointer, the Ducks were down 15 with just 2:53 remaining.

Hill added 15 points for the Cardinal, who won their second straight game since losing second leading scorer Anthony Goods to a sprained ankle. Mitch Johnson and Fred Washington added 12 points apiece.

Aaron Brooks scored 25 points for Oregon, but most of them came after the game was decided. Tajuan Porter added 20, including 16 in the first half.

Stanford used its size advantage with the 7-foot Lopez twins dominating the boards to control the game early, taking a 10-point lead after just 7 minutes. The Cardinal had three offensive rebounds in the opening minutes and the presence of the big guys helped open the court for Hill to hit a pair of 3-pointers.

But then a technical foul on Robin Lopez with 12:42 left in the half changed the momentum. Lopez was called for the technical by official Dave Libby after being called for a foul trying to block Bryce Taylor's shot.

Oregon converted all four free throws, starting an 11-2 run capped by Porter's turnaround 3-pointer from about 28 feet out as the shot clock expired. Coach Ernie Kent shrugged his shoulders and smiled when a fan yelled, "Just like you planned Ernie!"

Robin Lopez sat out the rest of the half with the two fouls, negating Stanford's size advantage and helping Oregon even the rebounding margin. Brook Lopez did made up for his brother's absence on the offensive end with 12 points in the half and the Cardinal led 40-34 at the break.

For more coverage of Stanford, visit CardinalReport.com; for more on Oregon, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.



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