NCAA

Despite cold shooting, No. 20 Saint Mary's pulls away from Portland

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USATSI

Despite cold shooting, No. 20 Saint Mary's pulls away from Portland

BOX SCORE

MORAGA -- Jock Landale had 13 points and 10 rebounds and No. 20 Saint Mary's overcame its worst shooting game of the season to beat Portland 51-41 on Thursday night.

The Gaels (22-2, 12-1 West Coast Conference) used an 11-2 run midway through the second half to erase a 29-28 deficit and set up Saturday's duel with unbeaten and top-ranked Gonzaga at McKeon Pavilion.

Emmett Naar added 11 points and Joe Rahon scored 10 for the Gaels, who shot 14 for 18 from the free throw line in the second half after not attempting a foul shot in the opening 20 minutes.

The Gaels' 51 points matched their season low. They shot 30.6 percent (15 for 49) after starting 3 for 16.

Jazz Johnson scored 10 points for the last-place Pilots (9-16, 2-11), who lost their 11th straight game. Portland shot just 26 percent in the second half, when it scored only 19 points.

The teams were tied 22-all at halftime as Saint Mary's shot 29 percent, including 4 for 17 from 3-point range, for its lowest-scoring first half of the season.

BIG PICTURE

Portland still has not won in the 2017 calendar year. The Pilots' most recent victory was 73-60 over Pepperdine on Dec. 31.

Saint Mary's continues to strengthen its position for an NCAA Tournament bid and set up Saturday's showdown with No. 1 Gonzaga for the WCC lead.

UP NEXT

The Pilots play Saturday at Loyola Marymount, which won 79-78 when the teams met last month at Portland.

With unbeaten Gonzaga coming to town Saturday, the Gaels play an AP No. 1 team in Moraga for the first time since Bill Russell and San Francisco visited on Feb. 17, 1956. The Dons won 74-63 on the way to their second straight NCAA title.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report