The Stanford Cardinal came into Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night looking to notch their first road win of the 2009-10 season. For Stanford to accomplish this feat, they would have to go up against a suddenly hot UCLA Bruins squad which had won three of their last four contests. While Stanford led for most of the game, UCLA was able to use their depth, grab a couple of loose balls, and make a late run to ultimately put away the Cardinal, winning by a final score of 77-73. UCLA moves to 11-11 on the year, 6-4 in the Pac-10, while Stanford drops to 10-12, 4-6 in league action.
Both teams stayed within at most two points of one another over the first eight minutes of play as Stanford did its damage from the outside (three-pointers from Jarrett Mann, Drew Shiller, and Landry Fields), while UCLA made a variety of jumpers and layups, including a Michael Roll jumper off of a Malcolm Lee assist, to take a 12-11 lead at the 12:51 mark of the first half. Stanford, rather Fields, embarked on a 7-0 run over the next 1:56, capped by a three-point play from the star senior, giving the Cardinal a six-point lead midway through the first half of play. UCLA then went on their own run, outscoring Stanford 9-2 with a Roll three-pointer finishing off the streak for the home team. A Jeremy Green trifecta ended the run and helped keep Stanford on top until another Roll long ball brought UCLA back in the lead, 27-26, with 3:35 left. Shiller came right back with a three-pointer of his own, helping Stanford finish the half up 32-29.
At the half, both teams were under 40% from the field, although the Cardinal made 45% of their three-point attempts. Stanford was also 5-7 from the charity stripe, while UCLA was hoopless at 0-4. The Cardinal outrebounded the Bruins 22-18, but turned the ball over more three more times than the home team (5-2). Fields had 15 points and five rebounds to lead Stanford, while Tyler Honeycutt tallied six points, six rebounds, and four assists at the break.
The Cardinal opened up the second half with a Green three-pointer from the left wing, a sign of things to come for the talented Texan, as Stanford equaled their biggest lead of the game, a half dozen, just 11 seconds into the second half. After trading baskets, UCLA went on an 11-2 run, topped off by another timely three-pointer from Roll, to help place the Bruins back on top, 42-39, with 15:05 to go in the contest. A Green long ball stopped the run and both squads traded blows back and forth over the next few minutes until Stanford appeared to get momentum back on their end as Fields hit a three-pointer to grab a five-point lead for the visitors with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
After two free throws by Reeves Nelson, Shiller made another long ball and Fields tipped in a Jack Trotter miss, prompting head coach Ben Howland to call a timeout with Stanford ahead by six, 60-54, with 7:54 remaining in the game. UCLA responded with an 11-0 streak over the next 3:07 to swing the game completely around in the home team's favor. Stanford, however, would not go away. After trading points for almost the next three minutes, Green made two free throws to bring the Bruins edge down to one, 69-68, with exactly two minutes remaining. A Fields dunk off a beautiful feed from Mann after two Lee free throws brought the lead down to one again with 1:04 to go, giving Stanford hope again. Unfortunately, each time Stanford seemed to have a chance to tie or go ahead in the final minute, UCLA would make their free throws or miss the second and grab a timely offensive rebound, further punishing the Cardinal for a lack of boxing out/depth inside as they tried in vain to gain their first road win of the year. Green had one last shot to tie the game up, but his hotly-contest three-pointer with 11 seconds left was long, ending the final chance for Stanford to gain the victory in Westwood.
Stanford made 45% of their field goals, 50% (11-22) from the three-point arc, and nailed 10-13 (77%) of their charity stripe attempts. UCLA shot 47% from the floor, 39% beyond the three-point line, and finished 18-26 (69%) at the free throw line. UCLA outrebounded Stanford 35-33, including 14-13 on the offensive glass. UCLA dished out 19 assists and turned the ball over just five times, starkly contrasting their 22 turnover effort at Maples in January. Stanford wasn't quite as successful, but still had more assists (13) than turnovers (10) on the night.
Fields finished the game with a career high 35 points and 10 rebounds on 13-18 shooting from the field, including 3-4 from the three-point line and 6-7 at the charity stripe. Green was the only other player in double-digits with 18 points as he connected on just six of 16 attempts from the field. UCLA has four players with at least 12 points, led by Nelson's 18 on 7-10 shooting. Roll had 16 and Nikola Dragovic had a quiet, efficient 15 points on 4-9 shooting and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.
Head coach Johnny Dawkins will have to regroup his troops and head over to
the Galen Center to take on the USC Trojans, who scored a 66-63 win over the
California Golden Bears, at 4:30pm on Saturday. Stay tuned to The Bootleg
for the excellent in-depth analysis from Kevo in his "And 1"
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