STANFORD, California — Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins spent the past few days emphasizing to his players the importance of rebounding.
Marcus Allen's first double-double of the season showed the Cardinal guard was listening.
Allen scored 10 of his 16 points over the final 5½ minutes — all on free throws — to go with a season-high 10 rebounds, and Stanford held on to beat California 77-71 on Thursday night.
"Marcus was really good for us down the stretch getting to the free throw line," Dawkins said. "He's growing right before our eyes. I thought during that six-minute stretch, Marcus was outstanding."
Rosco Allen had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (10-6, 3-2 Pac-12), who have won four straight against their Bay Area rivals. Dorian Pickens scored 14 points and Marcus Sheffield added 11.
Stanford, which went into the game shooting only 66.8 percent from the free throw line, scored its final 13 points from the stripe to complete a comeback after falling behind early in the second half.
Allen, who has only one other career double-double, went 10 of 14 from the line down the stretch for the Cardinal. Rosco Allen added three free throws of his own.
"I went into halftime and coach Dawkins pulled me to the side and he just kept me confident," Allen said. "He said, 'You can attack these guys. You can get by them on your first step.' And I listened to him."
The Cardinal also got a boost from their defense down the stretch.
Leading 72-69 with 28.4 seconds left, Stanford forced a turnover when California was unable to inbound the ball. Michael Humphrey later blocked a layup attempt by Tyrone Wallace to help the Cardinal hold on.
Tyrone Wallace and Jabari Bird scored 17 points apiece for California, which has lost three straight.
The Golden Bears (12-6, 2-3) struggled to get the ball inside and instead settled for perimeter shots. Cal went 12 of 30 on 3-point attempts.
"We've got to get to the basket a little more," said Jaylen Brown, who had 13 points despite missing much of the first half in foul trouble. "Stanford did a good job of closing off the lanes. We have to be a little more aggressive."
The win marked the 100th at Maples Pavilion for Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins, who recently celebrated his 150th career coaching win.
Stanford jumped out to an early lead, shook off a scoring drought midway through the first half then closed on a 20-8 run to take a 41-35 halftime lead. Sheffield led the surge with nine points, including a layup in traffic with eight seconds remaining.
California, coming off back-to-back losses at Oregon and Oregon State, shot just 37.1 percent in the first half. Brown, the Bears' second-leading scorer who had 20 points in each of the losses, spent most of the time on the bench after picking up his second foul 3:15 into the game.
California: The Bears haven't beaten the Cardinal since Jan. 2, 2014. . Wallace moved past Justin Cobbs into 11th place on the school's career scoring list with 1,474 points. . The Bears made six 3-pointers in the first half.
Stanford: The Cardinal made their first 15 free throws against the Bears and finished 30 of 38. ... Sheffield is Stanford's only freshman to play in every game this season. . Members of the Cardinal football team were honored during a halftime ceremony for their Rose Bowl win over Iowa.
GOING SMALL: With Cal coach Cuonzo Martin choosing to go with his small lineup against the Cardinal, Bird started for the first time since Nov. 27. The Bears sophomore guard, who shot 6 of 10 and had three rebounds, was needed to help defend Rosco Allen. "In a lot of cases I see Rosco as a perimeter guy, as a guard a even though he plays a four-position for them," Martin said. "So it's probably tougher for traditional big guys to defend him because of how he plays and what he does. They made plays but I thought it was the best thing for us."
California: Hosts Arizona State on Jan. 21.
Stanford: Hosts Arizona on Jan. 21.