Aug. 28, 2007
BIELLA, Italy- Stanford dropped a hard-fought 72-58 decision to Pallacanestra Biella on Tuesday night and now stands at 3-2 overall with two games remaining on its 11-day foreign tour.
Stanford hung close for the first two quarters until Biella, which never trailed, eventually pulled away.
"Obviously that was the best team we played so far," said head coach Trent Johnson. "We played our normal rotation and tried to win the game. I thought we competed well from start to finish, although we missed too many free throws and experienced some breakdowns in transition defense. But that's to be expected against a team of this caliber."
Biella's roster was loaded with a good mix of international standouts and former college players such as Troy Bell (Boston College), Kevin Pinkney (Nevada) and B.J. Elder (Georgia Tech). Leading the charge Bell, who poured in 18 points while knocking down five three-pointers.
On the flip side, Stanford was just 2-11 from three-point territory and 14-23 from the foul line.
Leading 11-2 early on, Biella stretched its lead to double-digits by the 3:32 mark with a 16-6 advantage. However, Stanford scored seven of the last eight points in the first quarter to cut the lead to 17-13.
Anthony Goods knocked down the second of two free throw attempts to open the second period, bringing Stanford within 17-14. Biella responded with a 10-2 scoring run before a free throw from Fields sliced the lead to 27-17 with 4:07 remaining. Bell connected on his first two triples in the final two minutes, guiding Biella to a 37-24 halftime advantage.
Biella maintained a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter and posted its biggest margin of 17 points at 51-34 with 4:10 on the clock. Goods then knocked down Stanford's first three-pointer of the contest, igniting a 10-5 Cardinal scoring run to close out the half and make it 56-44.
Stanford closed to within 11 points twice early in the fourth quarter, inching back to 60-49 following a pair of free throws by Lawrence Hill at the 7:38 mark. But back-to-back triples by Bell negated a three-point play by Brook Lopez and Biella managed to hang on down the stretch for the victory.
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Final totals: Robin Lopez (15 points, 7 rebounds, 1-3 FT) ... Fields (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1-2 3FG, 3-5 FT) ... Hill (11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 0-3 3FG, 5-8 FT) ... Brook Lopez (9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 0-1 3FG, 1-1 FT) ... Goods (8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1-5 3FG, 3-4 FT) ... Brown (2 points, 1 rebound) ... Dildy (1 point, 1-2 FT) ... Johnson (2 rebounds, 2 assists).
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Stanford's itinerary for Wednesday begins with a sightseeing trip to Lake Como. The Cardinal will embark on a private boat tour in the morning before breaking for lunch. At approximately 3 p.m. local time, the bus heads back to Varese as the Cardinal will challenge the home squad in an 8:30 p.m. contest. Stanford's final game of the trip takes place on Thursday night against Fastweb Casale in Valenza.
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Assistant coach Doug Oliver celebrated his birthday on Tuesday.