Monday January 14, 2013

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford has reigned for so long every other Pac-12 team only hopes to hang around each season. It had been almost four years since the Cardinal last lost against a conference opponent.

Lindsay Gottlieb mentioned that 81-game conference winning streak to her gritty California crew this week after Stanford beat the Golden Bears on Tuesday night. Five days later, it was Cal’s turn -- this time on Stanford’s home floor.

Gennifer Brandon had 14 points and 12 rebounds and No. 7 Cal snapped fifth-ranked Stanford’s long conference winning streak with a commanding 67-55 victory Sunday in the second meeting between the Bay Area rivals in six days.

Brittany Boyd added 19 points while Layshia Clarendon had 14 to help the Bears beat a top-5 opponent for the first time since a 66-52 victory against No. 2 Rutgers on Nov. 22, 2008.

Mikayla Lyles scored 11 of her career-best-matching 14 points over the final 6:04 of the first half as Cal (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12) took control on the way to snapping Stanford’s 10-game winning streak in the series and three-year run of dominance against the conference.

The Bears earned just their fourth victory in the last 46 meetings with Stanford (14-2, 3-1) -- even more special now that both are among the nation’s top-10.

They might just swap spots in the next poll now.


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Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points and nine rebounds as Stanford dropped consecutive home games for the first time in 12 years.

Cal, whose only losses this season have come against Stanford and at No. 4 Duke, ended the Cardinal’s impressive conference winning streak that dated to a 57-54 Bears win at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Jan. 18, 2009.

Stanford had stopped Cal’s six-game winning streak with a 62-53 victory last Tuesday night.

Trailing 47-39 midway through the second half, Stanford squandered four chances to cut the lead to six. And Cal capitalized, getting a short jumper by Clarendon followed by a pair of free throws from Boyd at the 10:12 mark to make it 52-39. The Cardinal committed a shot-clock violation the next time down, their 14th turnover.

Stanford went 4:43 without scoring before Ogwumike’s layin at 9:00. Clarendon immediately answered for Cal on the other end.

The Pac-12 Conference championship will likely come down to these two, as everyone has expected for months.