NCAA

Graham's 30 points leads Arizona State past Stanford 98-93

stanford-arizona-state.jpg
AP

Graham's 30 points leads Arizona State past Stanford 98-93

STANFORD — Torian Graham scored a career-high 30 points and Arizona State held off Stanford 98-93 in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams Friday night.

The Sun Devils (8-6, 1-0) built a 52-39 halftime lead by scoring on 15 of their final 16 possessions and never let the Cardinal (8-5, 0-1) regain the lead.

Graham, who had 26 points eight days earlier against Central Arkansas, recorded a career best for the third straight game. He made five 3-pointers as the Sun Devils connected on 13 of 24 shots from beyond the arc.

ASU's Tra Holder added a season-best 25 points before fouling out in the final minute.

Stanford's Marcus Sheffield scored 35 points — more than doubling his previous career best of 17. He had 15 in the final 3:46 as Stanford fought back from a 10-point hole to get as close as four points.

Reid Travis added 21 points for Stanford and Dorian Pickens scored 18, but missed two key free throws with 48 seconds left.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona State: The Sun Devils will have to bear up while playing five of their first seven Pac-12 games on the road. This is the fifth time in nine seasons ASU has faced that early-season challenge. No other conference school has started with five of seven on the road as often over that span and Stanford has never had to deal with it.

Stanford: Jerod Haase failed in his bid to become just the second Stanford coach since 1954-55 to win his conference debut. Neither Johnny Dawkins (2008-09) nor Trent Johnson (2004-05) could do it. Mike Montgomery won his first league game in 1986-87, but before that the last Stanford coach who won his first conference game was Howie Dallmar back in 1954-55.

ON THE SHELF

Stanford junior forward Michael Humphrey, who has started nine games and is the club's No. 3 scorer (7.4 ppg), is in concussion protocol after an incident in practice on Monday and did not play. He will be re-evaluated before the Cardinal's game Sunday vs. Arizona.

UP NEXT

Arizona State visits Cal on New Year's Day. The Sun Devils lost both meetings last season after winning the previous five meetings.

Stanford takes on No. 18 Arizona on New Year's Day at Maples Pavilion. The Wildcats have beaten the Cardinal 13 straight times, including by margins of 32 and 14 points last season.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

love-ap.jpg
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

lasco-ap.jpg
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