UCLA builds big lead, then fends off Stanford, 69-67

UCLA builds big lead, then fends off Stanford, 69-67
UCLA guard Norman Powell (4) drives past Stanford forward Anthony Brown (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Nothing has come easy when UCLA and Stanford have met this season.

So when Chasson Randle's running three-point attempt floated toward the basket as the final buzzer sounded, both teams thought anything was possible. They watched the ball for what seemed like forever until it banked off the backboard, hit the front of the rim and bounced away, cutting the Cardinal's wild rally one shot short.

Norman Powell finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, Isaac Hamilton scored 18 points and UCLA survived to beat Stanford, 69-67, on Thursday night for its third straight win.

"I was going to be sick if that made it in," said Bruins guard Bryce Alford, who added 18 points but split a pair of free throws in the final seconds to give the Cardinal a chance to win. "Unfortunately I didn't get it done, and fortunately a great player missed a shot."

The Bruins built a 22-point lead with 11 minutes remaining before holding off the Cardinal's comeback.

Even with all the drama, it was still an easier affair for UCLA than the last time it played Stanford. The Bruins outlasted the Cardinal, 86-81, in double-overtime on Jan. 8 at Pauley Pavilion.

That victory vaulted UCLA's turnaround that continues to show no end.

The Bruins (14-9, 6-4 Pac-12 Conference) have won six of eight after a five-game losing streak, including six in a row with big man Tony Parker in the lineup.

"We're healthy. Hopefully we're gaining some momentum. We're getting some confidence," Bruins Coach Steve Alford said.

Anthony Brown had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Randle scored 13 for the Cardinal (15-7, 6-4), who dropped consecutive games for the first time since last March. It was only Stanford's second loss at Maples Pavilion this season.

The Bruins led by 22 when Stanford slowly started to trim the deficit behind a series of long-range shots.

Brown put back a rebound to bring Stanford within three with 21.5 seconds to play.


"I'd liked to say we deserved it," Steve Alford said. "But they deserved it too."


Saturday at California, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks — The Bruins have won three in a row to move into a tie for third in the Pac-12, and three of their next four games come against teams in the bottom half of the conference standings.