PALO ALTO, California (Ticker) -- Stanford fought off a spirited challenge from California to remain the only unbeaten team in Pac-10 Conference play.
Matt Lottich led a balanced attack with 15 points as the fourth-ranked Cardinal held on for a 68-61 triumph over the Golden Bears.
Stanford has won 12 of the last 14 meetings between the archrivals and 11 straight at Maples Pavilion. But California fought back from a 16-point second-half deficit and got within 62-58 with 44 seconds left on a long 3-pointer by Richard Midgley, who scored all of his 19 points after halftime.
The Cardinal (14-0, 5-0 Pac-10) made all six of its free throws the rest of the way to seal the win.
"This was a hard-fought basketball game," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. "Cal came to play and were not intimidated."
Justin Davis added 13 points and Josh Childress had 10 and 10 rebounds for Stanford, which figures to move up to second in next week's poll behind Duke. The Cardinal are one of four unbeatens in the nation.
Amit Tamir chipped in 15 points and freshman Leon Powe scored 12 for California (6-8, 2-3), which has lost three of its last four games.
"We did a few good things defensively, and I thought we played a pretty solid game," Golden Bears coach Ben Braun said. "But we had a couple shots that didn't go down."
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, when Stanford built a 24-17 lead. California shot under 32 percent (6-of-19) while the Cardinal connected at 36 percent (8-of-22).
The second half was a different story as the teams combined to make eight of their first nine shots and Stanford used a 9-0 run to pull away.
Lottich started the burst with a 3-pointer and Joe Kirchofer capped it with a basket that stretched the Cardinal's advantage to 42-28 with 14 1/2 minutes left. A layup by Hernandez gave Stanford its biggest lead, 55-39.
"We got some good performances off the bench and Josh Childress played a good game, particularly on the defensive glass," Montgomery said.
California answered with a 13-2 burst fueled by Midgley, who scored eight points.