Marcus Allen scored 10 of his 16 points over the final 5 1/2 minutes — all on free throws — and Stanford held on to beat Cal 77-71 on Thursday night.
Consider it a reminder than Stanford, lost in all the hype this season about Cal’s NBA-bound freshmen, might be the better team in a deep Pac-12.
Rosco Allen had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (10-6, 3-2 Pac-12), who have won four straight against its Bay Area rivals. Dorian Pickens scored 14 points and Marcus Sheffield added 11.
Stanford, which went into the game shooting only 66.8 percent from the free-throw line, scored its final 13 points from the stripe to complete a comeback after falling behind early in the second half.
The Cardinal also got a defensive boost down the stretch. Leading 72-69 with 28.4 seconds left, Stanford forced a turnover when Cal was unable to inbound the ball. Michael Humphrey later blocked a layup attempt by Tyrone Wallace to help the Cardinal hold on.
Wallace and Jabari Bird scored 17 points apiece for the Golden Bears (12-6, 2-3), who have lost three straight and aren’t a cinch to reach the NCAA tournament even as Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb are listed in most mock drafts as NBA lottery picks.
The win marked the 100th at Maples Pavilion for Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins, who recently celebrated his 150th career coaching win.
Stanford jumped out to an early lead, shook off a scoring drought midway through the first half then closed on a 20-8 run to take a 41-35 halftime lead. Sheffield led the surge with nine points, including a layup in traffic with eight seconds remaining.
Cal, coming off back-to-back losses at Oregon and Oregon State, shot just 37.1 percent in the first half. Brown, the Bears’ second-leading scorer who had 20 points in each of the losses, spent most of the time on the bench after picking up his second foul 3:15 into the game.
The Bears haven’t beaten the Cardinal since Jan. 2, 2014.
Members of the Stanford football team were honored during a halftime ceremony for its Rose Bowl win over Iowa.