TWISH: Fond memories from LA

Stanford currently dominates UCLA in football. This Week in Stanford History never turns down the chance to recall the Cardinal’s stranglehold over the Bruins on the basketball court. We also make our first trip to the old Pavilion, way back when it hosted weekend doubleheaders.

Feb. 3, 2000: Stanford 78, UCLA 63

Steve Lavin’s seven-season tenure in Westwood paralleled Stanford basketball’s greatest run of success. Stanford went 10-4 against the former Candlestick Park usher, with each win leading to reflection on just how much fortunes for the two programs had changed.

This game stands out for obvious reasons.

The Cardinal, 18-1 with the win and ranked No. 2, collected what remains its most lopsided victory at Pauley Pavilion. Despite committing 23 turnovers, the visitors won for the third of what would eventually grow to eight straight times in Westwood. Before 1998, UCLA had won 30 of schools’ 32 all-time meetings at Pauley.
“I don’t think we’re intimidated by anybody,” said Ryan Mendez, after going 3-for-4 from three-point range. “We go out and prove a point every night.”

UCLA (12-7, 3-5) aimed to hold serve with the frontcourt of Dan Gadzuric and Jerome Moiso. Casey Jacobsen (Glendora High School) and Jason Kapono (Artesia HS of Lakewood), freshmen who arrived as McDonald’s All-Americans, met as collegians for the first time.

Kapono won the individual scoring battle (21-17), but it was Jacobsen who beat his prep foil for the first time. Stanford shredded the Bruins’ zone, making nine three-pointers on the night. Jacobsen scored 12 of his points over the final 13 ½ minutes after Kapono helped trim the Cardinal’s big lead.

“When I see zone, I’m not going to say ‘bombs-away,’” Jacobsen said. “But there are so many gaps in a zone to take advantage of.”

Anger alert: The Bruins successfully avenged this defeat on two accounts. First, they spoiled Senior Day at Maples with a last-second win. Then, Lavin’s side reeled off the first of three straight Sweet 16 berths. A second round loss to North Carolina buried the 1999-2000 Cardinal in the NCAA tournament’s opening weekend graveyard, alongside other star-crossed groups – DePaul, Oregon State and Gonzaga among them through the years – who enjoyed runs of invincibility beforehand.

We’ll get those bad memories out the way, if only to better remember this Stanford edition. The Cardinal won 25 of their first 26 games, leading the nation in field goal percentage defense. Stanford earned the program’s first No. 1 ranking and held that top spot for five weeks. The season featured moments of historic success.

Stanford’s starters shot 78 percent from the field and made 9-of-11 three-point shots during a spectacular 101-50 drubbing of Cal. It remains the Cardinal’s most lopsided win and the Golden Bears’ biggest defeat in nearly a century of conference play. The team’s two seniors, Mark Madsen and David Moseley, finished their career with over 100 victories at The Farm.

Balance defined Mike Montgomery’s best Stanford teams. Five Cardinal players scored in double-figures against UCLA. The visitors shot 60 percent from three-point range and 58 percent from the field to grab a 38-22 edge at halftime.
After watching his team blank on all seven of its three-point attempts in the first half, Lavin boiled over. He picked up a technical early in the second half. Stanford would soon increase its lead to 20 points. UCLA’s subsequent 17-5 run trimmed the deficit to 49-41 with 13:31 left, but the Cardinal would let the hosts get no closer.

Feb. 5, 1955: Stanford 76, USC 60

Howie Dallmar’s head coaching debut featured a solid record (16-8, 7-5), enough for second place in the Pacific Coast Conference’s South Division behind UCLA. A Friday-Saturday home doubleheader sweep of the Trojans was the high-water mark.

Teams played each other four times in the old two-division format. Stanford arrived 3-1 in PCC play, which resumed following a win over Santa Clara and a 16-point defeat at eventual national champ USF. The break suited Ron Tomsic.

The guard, a product of Oakland’s Fremont High, set a new Stanford career scoring record in the second game, eclipsing Hank Lusietti’s mark of 1,297 points.  He scored 17 points in a worthy encore to his 40-point effort the previous night, when the Cards (as the Stanford Daily called them) won by a 92-78 margin.

Tomsic finished his career as the school record-holder for both career points (1,416) and points-per-game (16.3).

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