For a little more than six minutes in the second half Sunday evening, Stanford's basketball team was almost unstoppable, and three freshmen were the main reason.
Dwight Powell, Anthony Brown and Aaron Bright helped the Cardinal take charge of the Pac-10 opener at Maples Pavilion, sparking an 82-68 victory over Cal.
The Cardinal (8-4, 1-0) led just 48-43 when Brown went to the foul line with 12:11 left. When Powell converted a turnaround jumper over Cal's Harper Kamp, the lead had swelled to 69-52 with 5:52 left.
Brown (nine points), Powell (six) and Bright (three) combined for 18 points and Stanford converted on 10 of 13 possessions during a stretch of 6:19 that transformed the game.
"They did a terrific job," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Dwight was aggressive, Anthony came in and got some good looks and made plays, Aaron, too. It was one of the best moments they've had this season."
Powell, a 6-foot-9 Canadian-born forward, finished with a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds. Brown had 11 points and Bright 10, adding up to a season-high 41-point effort from the rookie trio.
Junior guard Jeremy Green scored 21 to lead the Cardinal, which shot 72 percent in the second half.
Cal (7-6, 0-1), which has struggled to score much of the season, actually shot 51 percent from the field, and still lost by double digits.
"We can't give up 82 points and expect to win," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "To Stanford's credit, they had some guys really play well, shot the ball well, made plays. We just really had a hard time with the Powell matchup."
Powell said he'd had several discussions with Dawkins about playing more assertively.
"It was definitely direct," Powell said of the conversations. "He wanted to make sure if I had open looks, I'd take advantage of them."
Kamp, normally a stout defender, struggled to keep up with Powell's quickness and athletic ability.
"He showed a lot of skill tonight. He was able to jump up and knock down some jumpers," Kamp said. "We've been a team that's prided ourselves on defense. We just didn't show up today."
Stanford led 38-34 at halftime, fueled by four 3-pointers from Green, who had 14 points at the break. Cal tried an assortment of defenses, including a box-and-one, but couldn't stay in front of Green.
Said Montgomery: "Three of them were (3-pointers) where we just stood there and watched him shoot without getting a hand up, like we didn't trust that he could shoot it."
The Bears trailed just 48-43 when they turned the ball over on three straight possessions and four of five, squandering a chance to get closer. Twice they just kicked the ball away in transition.
"Turnovers on the break killed us," said Cal freshman Gary Franklin, who played his most productive game in a month with 15 points, 11 of them in the second half.
Franklin entered the game shooting just 27 percent from the 3-point arc but hit 4 of 7 from deep and added four assists off the bench.
"I tried to shoot in the flow of the game. It definitely gives me a lot of confidence," Franklin said.
Kamp led the Bears with 16 points, and center Markhuri Sanders-Frison had 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out. Jorge Gutierrez contributed 11 points and eight assists but had four of Cal's 16 turnovers.
Cal at Arizona, 7:30 p.m., CSNBA
Stanford at Arizona State,