Stanford Starts Fast, Fades Later In Loss

Student writer Jack Blanchat provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, and facts after Stanford started our hot, going up by 14 midway through the first half before fading into the Westwood afternoon, dropping a 68-57 decision versus the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday.

After a quick start, the Stanford men's basketball team fell to the UCLA Bruins 68-57 on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

The Cardinal stormed out of the gates, breaking open an 8-0 lead after less than two minutes, holding on to a ten-point lead for most of the first half, and then eventually extending their lead to 14 after freshman Anthony Brown nailed a long two-point jumper with 10:30 left in the first half.

However, Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee turned on the jets, and the Bruins clawed their way back to a tie at 24 when Honeycutt stroked in a three with 1:57 to go in the half.

When Lee hit a two-point jumper two-and-a-half minutes into the second half, the Bruins had their first lead, 30-28. With 7:20 left in the game, Honeycutt made a three that gave the Bruins a five-point lead and UCLA held fast for the rest of the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, Honeycutt had 16 and Lee's 23 led all scorers. Guard Lazeric Jones also contributed 17 points, going 10-for-11 from the free throw line. Josh Owens led the way for Stanford with 14 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Jeremy Green's 12 and Brown's 10.

The Cardinal jumped out to a lead thanks to four UCLA turnovers in the first seven minutes, as well as the Bruins starting just 2-for-12 shooting. The game changed about halfway through the first half, though, when UCLA began to double-team Owens on every possession, forcing the Cardinal to rely on their guards, who missed copious long jumpers and had trouble getting penetration of a tough UCLA zone.

Additionally, the Bruins, playing without freshman center Josh Smith, got a big boost from 6'10" redshirt freshman Anthony Stover. Stover's sheer size made every Stanford possession a challenge, and his presence helped forwards Reeves Nelson and Honeycutt combine to grab 18 rebounds.

Poor shooting, especially from the Cardinal guards, once again highlighted the bitter defeat for Stanford. Jarrett Mann went 3-for-11, Green went 4-for-15, and Aaron Bright went 2-for-7, while the team only shot 30.8% as a whole.

The defeat also continued a troubling trend for the Cardinal, as they head back to the Bay Area for the sixth year in a row without winning any games in Los Angeles. Since 2005, the Cardinal have not had a single road victory at USC or UCLA, going 0-for-12 in that stretch.

The loss set the Cardinal back to 3-4 in the Pac-10 this season, while UCLA pushed ahead to 5-2, keeping them at least tied for second in the conference. The Cardinal have lost three games in a row, and the trip to Los Angeles may have been especially bleak, but the road ahead offers Stanford a chance to climb their way back into the Pac-10 conversation.

Stanford has a four game home stand coming up, welcoming in the Oregon schools next week, and the Arizona schools the week after that. Oregon is only 1-5 in conference so far, and Oregon State is 3-3.

If Stanford can get past those two schools, Arizona State has a 1-6 conference record, including a loss to the Cardinal earlier this year. The Cardinal came close to beating No. 25 Arizona a few weeks ago, rallying to cut a 15-point Wildcat lead to just five before fading to a 67-57 loss.

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