BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Dwight Powell smiled when reflecting on his seventh double-double of the season. Stanford's second-leading scorer was even more proud of the zero he put up under the fouls column.
Both were critical milestones in helping the Cardinal get back in the thick of things in the Pac-12.
Powell had 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Anthony Brown scored 11 points over the final 10 minutes, and Stanford held on to beat California 80-69 on Wednesday night.
"I've been in foul trouble in several games this year, especially in (conference)," said Powell, who has fouled out three times this season. "Definitely in the first half that was an emphasis of mine, to stay out of foul trouble."
Keeping Powell on the court was critical for Stanford.
He made just 5 of 17 shots from the floor but continually helped disrupt California's interior game and helped hold Richard Solomon to 1 of 7 shooting.
"He didn't shoot the ball as well as he had but he provides us a presence when he's on the floor," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Whether he's on the perimeter or on the post, people have to pay so much attention to what he does. He's one of the best players in the conference and I think he showed that tonight."
Stanford (15-7, 6-4 Pac-12) beat Cal despite getting outrebounded and outscored 34-24 in the paint.
The Cardinal did it with a patient offense and a pesky defense that forced 13 turnovers. They also made a season-high 28 free throws, 15 coming over the final nine minutes.
"I can't say I was surprised how aggressive they were," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "They have been more aggressive than us on many occasions the last few years ... and they were again. They were very physical, and we didn't handle that very well."
The Golden Bears were within 52-47 with 13 minutes left when Brown took over for Stanford.
He made an 18-foot jumper as part of an 8-0 run then added two free throws to make it 64-51. Justin Cobbs stopped the run with a three-point play and later added a free throw to make it 62-51 but Brown scored nine of the next 11 points for the Cardinal and Stanford took advantage of multiple turnovers by Cal down the stretch.
Brown finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Chasson Randle added 19 points for the Cardinal (15-7, 6-4 Pac-12), who have won three of the last four in this series between the two Bay Area rivals.
It marked a rare conference road win for Stanford, which lost to the Bears 69-62 on Jan. 2. The Cardinal are 3-2 in the Pac-12 away from Maples Pavilion this season and only 15-34 since 2008-09.
They handed the Bears just their second home loss this season and moved into a tie with Cal for third place in the conference.
"I found out that our guys have a lot of substance to weather that (first-half) storm, come out, and regroup," Dawkins said. "(To) have the second half we had says a lot about their character."
Cobbs had 24 points and five rebounds for California (15-8, 6-4), which sputtered offensively in its first game since upsetting then-No. 1 Arizona last week.
"We just didn't have a real good flow," said Bears forward David Kravish, who had 12 points on 6 of 14 shooting. "Shots weren't going down for us."
A week after losing to Arizona 60-57, Stanford controlled most of the first half and led by as much as 18 before the Bears made a late run to close out the half.
Powell provided the bulk of the offense, scoring nine points as part of a 15-4 run. Stanford's second-leading scorer also had one of six 3-pointers by the Cardinal in the first 20 minutes.
Cal sputtered offensively until the final 6:30 when Cobbs sparked the Bears' best run of the game.
He made two free throws, scored on a putback following a miss by teammate Jordan Mathews, added a fast-break layup then made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut Stanford's lead to 42-36.
Kravish's short hook shot pulled Cal within 52-47 early in the second half but the Bears committed turnovers on back-to-back possessions and went scoreless for the next four minutes.
Josh Huestis's runner in the lane sparked an 8-0 run and Brown's three-point play made it 69-52.
"This was a big game for us," Brown said. "Cal was ahead of the standings and we didn't want them to sweep us."