EUGENE, Ore. – Johnathan Loyd's performance in a loss to California on Thursday was so dismal it spurred a late-night call of concern from his coach.
"I was worried about him," Oregon coach Dana Altman. "But he bounced back tough."
He certainly did.
Loyd had his best game of the season with 15 points and nine assists to lead No. 23 Oregon past Stanford 77-66 on Saturday, keeping the Ducks (22-6, 11-4 Pac-12) tied with No. 12 Arizona atop the league standings.
Carlos Emory led the Ducks with 19 points and Arsalan Kazemi had 15 as Altman got his 600th career win.
E.J. Singler added 12 points and Tony Woods had nine points and nine rebounds for Oregon.
"Lots of guys played well but Johnny was the guy who stirred the drink," Altman said.
Loyd, making his ninth start in place of injured point guard Dominic Artis, was 6 of 8 from the field for a season high in points and a career high in assists.
It was a much different performance than his 0-for-6, no-point effort in a 48-46 buzzer-beating loss to the Golden Bears.
"It felt great tonight," Loyd said. "I needed it. My teammates had faith in me. They kept telling me they believed in me so I just stepped up."
Dwight Powell led the Cardinal (16-12, 7-8) with 16 points and Josh Huestis had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Oregon led 30-26 at halftime but outscored the Cardinal 11-4 early in the second half to go up 46-34 with 13:50 to play and Stanford never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
The Ducks shot a season-worst 27.6 percent against California on Thursday and it looked like things were on the same track when Damyean Dotson and Singler air-balled shot attempts in the opening minutes against the Cardinal.
But after falling behind 14-7, Oregon heated up.
The Ducks scored eight straight points, two on a short jumper from Loyd that put them up 15-14 with 11:01 to play in the half.
Stanford regained its lead 3:09 before halftime when Huestis capped a 6-0 run with a rebound dunk to make it 24-23.
Loyd followed with a 3-pointer, then dished to Kazemi for a dunk and made two free throws to help Oregon take a 30-26 halftime lead.
Powell was a force for the Cardinal in the first half, scoring 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. But the junior forward picked up his third foul right before halftime and then added his fourth 2 minutes into the second half attempting to block Woods from stuffing back a miss by Singler.
That sent the Cardinal's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder to the bench for a 6-minute stretch and the Ducks took advantage, going on a 14-6 run to push their lead to 46-34.
"You want guys on your team to step up," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "We needed some guys at that point to really assert themselves and make some plays for us to kind of keep us in position to where we have a chance to get back in the game. Unfortunately, . they kept gaining ground."
Oregon led 48-36 when Dawkins was hit with a technical foul with 10:13 to play for arguing a foul called against Cardinal guard Gabriel Harris.
Singler made one of the two free throws for the technical, then both free throws for the original foul call to put the Ducks up 51-36.
Oregon's lead grew to 66-42 with 5:27 left to play.
The Ducks finished the game shooting 48.4 percent and made 25 points off Stanford's 17 turnovers. They outscored the Cardinal 42-18 inside.
The Cardinal, who handed Oregon its worst loss of the season three weeks ago at Maples Pavilion (76-52), shot 37.7 percent overall and made only 4 of 17 3-point attempts.