NCAA

Rabb's big night gives Cal bragging rights over Stanford

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AP

Rabb's big night gives Cal bragging rights over Stanford

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Ivan Rabb's plan to go aggressively at Stanford didn't exactly get off to an encouraging start when he was limited to one shot in the first 11 minutes.

California's leading scorer finally got going after an alley-oop dunk midway through the first half, and the Golden Bears followed along.

Rabb had 25 points and 13 rebounds and California pulled away late in the second half to beat Stanford 66-55 on Sunday.

"My plan was to come out aggressive early but the ball just wasn't coming my way at first," Rabb said. "Guys were getting good shots so I can't complain about that. I was just trying to play the game the right way."

Jabari Bird added 17 points to help the Golden Bears (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) win in front of a standing-room-only crowd following an eight-day break.

Rabb overcame a sluggish start and scored 15 points in the second half, including eight over the final six minutes to go with a key block down the stretch. Rabb shot 7 of 9 from the floor and made 9 of 14 free throws while finishing one point shy of his career high.

The win moves California into a three-way tie for third place in the Pac-12 along with No. 8 UCLA and Utah.

"I think we're growing," Rabb said after the Bears fifth win in the past six games. "In the first half the shots weren't going in but they looked good, they felt good."

Reid Travis scored 17 points and Michael Humphrey added 10 points and nine rebounds for Stanford (11-10, 3-6). The Cardinal lost to their cross-bay rivals for only the third time in the last nine games.

Stanford was within 51-45 following a pair of free throws by Humphrey with 6:11 left before Rabb's late burst helped the Bears pull away.

Rabb scored six straight points for the Bears including four free throws. Grant Mullins followed with a 3-pointer and Kameron Rooks had a free throw before Rabb's emphatic dunk pushed California's lead to 63-48.

That was big on a night when the Bears made only 18 of 31 free throws.

"For us offensively we have to flow through (Rabb)," California coach Cuonzo Martin said. "He settles in, sees how the double-team is coming and he makes plays from there."

Stanford had its own shooting problems and lost its second straight following a three-game winning streak.

"They did a nice job of adjusting and getting the ball into the paint more," said Stanford coach Jerod Haase, who played for the Bears in 1992-93. "That opened up angles for them and gave Rabb good looks."

Neither team shot well in the first half until Rabb helped shake the Bears out of their funk.

RABB GOES DEEP

Rabb is trying to extend his game beyond the arc and is slowly making progress in that area. The 6-foot-11 sophomore made two 3-pointers to tie for the team-high, and is 6 of 11 from long range this year after attempting only two 3s his entire freshman season. "That's a shot we wanted him to take last year because he can shoot it," Martin said. "I expect him to shoot those."

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: Travis continues to be bothered by a right shoulder injury and went 7 of 15 from the floor but scored 10 straight points during one stretch in the second half. He had missed four of the previous six games because of the injury. ... Overall, the Cardinal shot just 38.8 percent as a team and committed 15 turnovers.

California: The Bears continue to be plagued by inconsistency, an ongoing issue. Cal made the opening basket but went scoreless for the next six minutes. ... It's Rabb's 10th double-double in 18 games after a late start to the season due to a toe injury. ... Bird moved past Joe Shipp into eighth place on the school's career 3-point list (158).

UP NEXT

Stanford: Returns to Maples Pavilion and will play Colorado on Thursday. The Cardinal haven't beaten the Buffs since 2011-12.

California: Hosts Utah on Thursday. The Utes have won five of the last six games between the two schools, including twice in overtime.

From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

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From feeding homeless to doing the splits, Stanford's Phillips a rare find

Stanford has a penchant for recruiting the overachieving student-athlete. Even among those standards, Harrison Phillips is a rare find. The senior defensive tackle helps feed the homeless every Friday morning at a local shelter. He often visits the kids in the oncology ward at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He was named to the Pac-12 All Academic First Team and will graduate in December with a double major and a minor. He is a team captain and heir apparent to Solomon Thomas, the 49ers third overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

“One thing you love about Harrison is, every day he’s going to get something done,” head coach David Shaw told NBC Sports Bay Area. “On the field, off the field, in the community, he’s always got a million things going on. But nothing ever suffers.

"He does everything at a high level.”

At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Phillips is a mountain of a man. His skill set is different than that of Thomas, but he can be just as disruptive. He plays over the center. He plays over the guards. His self-proclaimed job is to eat as many blocks as possible to keep the linebackers free.

“He’s such that hard point for us. He’s that guy up front that’s getting knock back, that force in the run game that you gotta have,” defensive coordinator Lance Anderson explained. “You have to have that strong solid point in the middle of your defense, and he provides that.”

Phillips had a game-high 11 tackles, five of them solo, in the Cardinal’s loss to USC. No other defensive lineman on the field had more than three.

“He’s outstanding against the run. He’s a very good pass rusher,” Shaw added. “He’s got a lot of tools that can work inside.”

Phillips main instruments of domination are strength, knowledge of leverage and abnormal flexibility for a man of his size.

“He can do the splits on command,” Thomas said laughing from in front of his locker after a recent 49ers practice. “He loves showing it off. We get on him for it. But he loves doing it.

And, according to Thomas, his former Stanford teammate loves to bench. So it comes as no surprise that Phillips’ upper body strength stands out.

“He’ll be really low in a position that you think he’d get knocked over in,” Thomas explained. “Because of how flexible he is, it’s not a problem for him to get in that position and stay there and move on from there. It definitely shows up on his film.”

No doubt, Phillips says, that ability comes from his wrestling experience. His high school curriculum vitae includes, “Nebraska State Wrestling Champion, Heavy Weight Division, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.”

Phillips first year on The Farm, he vividly remembers his Stanford coaches testing him. Just a mere 245 pounds at the time, they put him up against Joshua Garnett and Andrus Peat, two offensive linemen now in the NFL and each well over 300 pounds.

“They’d double team me, almost 700 pounds on you, and I would somehow find leverage and be able to sit on some of those double teams,” Phillips said. “I think the violence that wrestling brings, and balance and being comfortable in weird positions, wrestling has a ton of scrambling, as it's called, you just know your body and know what you can do. I have tremendous flexibility, and I use everything to my advantage.”

One thing Phillips is not allowed to do is use his explosiveness away from the football field. At one time, Phillips could do a back flip off the wall, but he no longer attempts it.

“I’m not a big fan of the back hand springs,” Shaw said. “I’d like for him to stay on his feet.”

Phillips doesn’t argue. He lost his entire sophomore year to a knee injury, and doesn’t want to risk another. He has NFL aspirations and put himself in position to graduate in three-and-a-half years should he choose to enter the 2018 draft. But just as he has done at Stanford, he is looking to be more than just a name on a jersey should he play on a professional level.

“I want to build something that is really lasting,” Phillips said of his life goal, “and put my name on something to touch people’s lives and change people’s lives, pay it forward as much as I can.”

No. 6 USC routs No. 14 Stanford for 11th straight win

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USASTI

No. 6 USC routs No. 14 Stanford for 11th straight win

LOS ANGELES  — Steven Mitchell and Deontay Burnett caught two touchdown passes apiece from Sam Darnold, and No. 6 Southern California extended its winning streak to 11 games with a bruising 42-24 victory over No. 14 Stanford on Saturday night.

Darnold went 21 of 26 with 316 yards passing for the Trojans (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12), who snapped their three-game losing streak in this California private-school rivalry. USC racked up 623 total yards and won the first Pac-12 game of the new season by beating the hard-nosed Cardinal (1-1, 0-1) at their own physical game.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 116 yards and scored a touchdown in his ninth consecutive game as USC excelled at Stanford's traditional strengths, running the ball for 307 yards and controlling both lines of scrimmage. Turnovers and penalties by the Trojans kept it fairly close, but freshman Stephen Carr added 119 yards rushing, and Jones cartwheeled into the end zone with a clinching 23-yard TD run with 4:15 to play.

Keller Chryst passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Bryce Love had a 75-yard TD run among his 160 yards rushing for the Cardinal, who hadn't played since their season-opening win over Rice in Australia last month.

After a scoreless third quarter, USC made a 90-yard scoring drive capped by Mitchell's second TD on a feathery 11-yard TD pass by Darnold with 9:42 to play. Stanford stayed close with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside's TD catch with 6:41 to play, but Jones' incredible second TD run capped a smooth 75-yard drive in USC's 11th consecutive win at the Coliseum.

Stanford had won eight of its last 11 meetings with USC in a dominant stretch that began with its historic 2007 upset victory at the Coliseum.

After USC scored 49 points in its season opener, Darnold's offense again was in fine form from the start. USC scored four touchdowns on five lengthy drives in the first half, with Darnold hitting Burnett for two of his three TD passes.

USC moved 74 yards on two plays late in the half to take a 28-17 lead on Burnett's leaping 25-yard TD grab.

THE TAKEAWAY

Stanford: That 62-point performance in the season opener Down Under was impossible to replicate against a top Pac-12 defense, and the Cardinal's offense will know it must add versatility to the attack. Stanford's defense also had big problems at the line of scrimmage, and that isn't a problem with which the Cardinal have much experience.

USC: This talent-laden offense has appeared to have the makings of a juggernaut so far. Darnold returned to 2016 form with a smooth, poised performance against a vaunted conference opponent, while the Trojans' receivers appear to be much more reliable than coach Clay Helton feared. USC's defense also stepped up after halftime and shut down one of the Pac-12's best.

UP NEXT

Stanford: The Cardinal's three-game stretch away from home to open the season concludes at San Diego State.

USC: The Trojans welcome Texas to the Coliseum for a meeting of two powerhouse programs.