Stanford damages UCLA’s Pac-12 title hopes

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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STANFORD, Calif. — UCLA’s chance of winning a second straight Pac-12 regular-season title may have been shot down by Stanford on Saturday.

Guard Chasson Randle went 7-for-10 from 3-point range and collected 26 points for Stanford, which shot 62.2 percent from the field and beat the No. 23 Bruins 83-74 at Maples Pavilion.

Forward Josh Huestis tied a career high with 22 points and had five blocks for the Cardinal, which improved to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in the Pac-12.

It was a dramatic turnaround from Stanford’s 91-74 loss to UCLA on Jan. 23, and the Cardinal players said that disappointing performance fueled them.

“We spent a lot of time watching that game — we were bad in that game,” Randle said.

The Cardinal shot 38.6 percent from the field in the January game and were thoroughly outplayed that day by the Bruins, who shot 53.6 percent in that earlier meeting.

“I think it took the game at UCLA to really look inside ourselves and see what we wanted to do and what it took,” Huestis said. “That just wasn’t us.”

The victory over UCLA, in addition to a December road win over Connecticut, improved Stanford’s chances of an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Cardinal have won four of their last five games and find themselves just a game out of second place in the Pac-12.

“I think our team is in a good place right now,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said, “and we’re still improving. UCLA came in here as hot as anyone in the country.”

UCLA (21-6, 10-4) had its four-game winning streak halted, and its chances of catching first-place Arizona took a hit. The Wildcats, who played Colorado later Saturday, entered the day with a one-game lead over the Bruins.

UCLA coach Steve Alford figures his team still has a shot at the title with four games remaining, though.

“Yeah, until we’re eliminated,” he said. “We’re leaving here in second place, so we haven’t lost any ground in that respect.”

However, the Bruins could not stop Stanford’s hot shooting on Saturday.

“They shot the ball extremely well,” Alford said. “We haven’t had a team shoot this well against us all year.”

The Cardinal led by eight points at halftime, then shot 73.7 percent from the field (14-for-19) in the second half, when they made 5-of-6 3-point shots. The Cardinal finished 11-for-20 from long range.

“I thought in the second half we competed,” Alford said. “We just couldn’t get a stop. We were not very good defensively, and the last three weeks we had been playing well defensively.

“They were more aggressive and better defensively than we were.”

Guards Zach LaVine and Norman Powell scored 14 points apiece for UCLA, and center Tony Parker came off the bench to score 13 points for the Bruins.

But UCLA’s top two scorers — guards Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson — combined for just 14 points, including just three in the second half.

“Things just didn’t go our way,” said Anderson, who finished with six points, five rebounds and nine assists. “I guess we weren’t totally ready for this game; the proof is in the pudding. This is definitely the toughest loss of the ones we’ve had on the road.”

Stanford forward Dwight Powell did not score in the first half, but he had nine points in the first four minutes of the second half. His dunk off an alley-oop pass from guard Anthony Brown gave the Cardinal a 52-39 lead with 16:06 left.

Stanford increased the margin to 14 points when center Stefan Nastic scored from close range with 13:21 to go to make it 58-44.

The Bruins then went on a 13-2 run to reduce the deficit to 60-57 with 9:49 left. Parker had six of UCLA’s points in that spurt.

Brown, who finished with 18 points, hit a 3-point shot to end the Bruins’ run, and the Cardinal regained a double-digit lead when Brown scored again to give Stanford a 68-57 lead at the 7:21 mark.

The Bruins worked their way back again, getting within four points with 2:50 left. But that was as close as they got.

NOTES: UCLA G Jordan Adams scored 24 and

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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