BERKELEY (AP) — Alanna Smith scored a career-high 27 points and Erica McCall made a few big plays in the final minute, lifting No. 10 Stanford over California 72-66 on Thursday night.
McCall put the Cardinal ahead with two free throws with 59.1 seconds left, then blocked a shot by Kristine Anigwe on the subsequent possession. Brittany McPhee padded the lead for Stanford (23-4, 13-2 Pac-12) by scoring a layup off an inbound play with 11 seconds left.
Smith scored seven straight points, pushing Stanford into a 64-61 lead when she made a 3-pointer with 2:39 left. But on the next possession, she fouled out, and Mikayla Cowling converted all three free throws for Cal (17-10, 5-10), tying the score at 64-all. Cowling had 14 points.
The score was tied again before McCall put Stanford up 68-66 with her free throws. Karlie Samuelson scored 17 points for Stanford, including a pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds left.
Stanford beat Cal for the 17th time in 19 tries despite tough shooting nights by two of its best players. McPhee, who scored 26 points last week against Colorado, missed her first nine shots and wound up with seven points on 3-for-15 shooting. McCall, the Cardinal’s top scorer, went 4 for 15 while totaling 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Penina Davidson scored 13 points for the Bears, and Anigwe and Asha Thomas each had 10. Anigwe, the Pac-12’s No. 2 scorer at 21.8 points per game, was held to 5-for-16 shooting
Stanford remained in a virtual tie for first place with Washington and Oregon State, both idle Thursday. The Huskies and Beavers are both 12-2 and set to play games Friday.
Cal lost at home to the Cardinal for the eighth straight season. The Bears’ most recent home win over the Cardinal was 57-54 on Jan. 18, 2009 when Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 37 points.
Stanford should remain in the top 10 with a win Sunday.
Cal visits Stanford on Sunday, completing the two-game regular-season series.