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No. 6 Stanford Tops Oregon

With the Pac-10 title already in the bag, Stanford coach Mike Montgomery feared his team might flick on the cruise-control switch. Arthur Lee put his worries to rest.

Lee scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half as No. 6 Stanford continued its push for a top seed in the NCAA tournament by defeating Oregon 73-61 Thursday night.

"I wasn't sure what would happen on this trip," said Montgomery, whose team clinched its first outright Pac-10 title last week with a 98-83 home victory over Arizona. "To come up and play a team with a lot to play for and win says a lot about this team."

Stanford (26-4, 15-2 Pac-10) matched its school record with 15 conference victories, set in 1989 and tied last year when the Cardinal went to the Final Four.

After stumbling with three losses in a six-game stretch, the Cardinal has won five straight and is now back in contention for the No. 1 seed in the West Regional.

"We're playing well right now, but you can always play better," Lee said. "We want to finish the season strong and get the best seed in the tournament that we can."

Mark Madsen and Tim Young each added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinal.

Oregon (15-11, 7-10) was led by Yasir Rosemond's 14 points, all coming in the first half on four 3-pointers as the Ducks trailed only 40-35 at the break.

Stanford had beaten the Ducks five straight times, including the last four by an average of 22.5 points. But the Cardinal was pushed by an Oregon team facing its last chance at earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Oregon was down 49-46 with 15:07 to play, but the Ducks went the next 6:02 without a point. Stanford struggled with its shot, too, but Lee made two jumpers during a 7-0 run to make it 56-46 with 9:05 left.

The Ducks couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.

"I'm really proud of our team with the way they battled," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "They were right there the whole game."

Oregon, without a victory over a Top 25 team this season, still could make the NIT with a win against Cal on Saturday.

Rosemond, a reserve guard who was averaging just 3.2 points per game, hit two straight 3-pointers and a layup to pull the Ducks to 18-15 midway through the first half.

Rosemond, somehow getting open against Stanford's tough man-to-man defense, hit two more 3-pointers to cut the lead to 32-28. A 3-pointer by Darius Wright and a backdoor layup by A.D. Smith pulled the Ducks to 34-33 with 2:25 left in the half.

The Cardinal tightened up in the second half, allowing the Ducks to shoot just 38 percent and make one of 10 from 3-point range.

"I think Stanford is the most physical team we've played," said Oregon center Mike Carson, who was outmanned against Young and Madsen. "Stanford plays such a solid game. Once you break down, they feed on that and they don't give a chance to com back."

The Ducks, who have four losses by two points or less this season, have lost six straight to Stanford since beating the Cardinal 64-62 in Eugene in 1996.

"Knowing what we know about Oregon, we did have a sense of urgency tonight," Madsen said. "They had a lot to play for, but we have been pretty successful on the road this year."

Stanford improved to 10-1 on the road and 20-3 over the past two seasons.

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