Feb 23, 2002
By RICK EYMER
Associated Press Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - UCLA coach Steve Lavin thinks his 25th-ranked Bruins may have started yet another late season rally.
Jason Kapono scored 22 points as UCLA held off No. 10 Stanford 95-92 on Saturday to snap a two-game losing streak and win at Stanford for the third straight year.
"We always feel so free here and play with poise," Kapono said. "The last few games when we struggled, we were thinking too much. We were more patient today and we came away with a great win."
Dan Gadzuric had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Bruins (18-9, 10-6 Pac-10), while Billy Knight had 17 points and Dijon Thompson 13.
It was Gadzuric's seventh double-double of the season and third in four games.
"It's the same old theme for our players since I've been here," Lavin said. "They show the ability to come together and make a run during a tough time."
Curtis Borchardt had his 13th double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds as Stanford lost at home to both Southern California and UCLA for the first time in 10 years, and dropped consecutive home games for the first time since 1997.
"They packed it in the middle and dared us to shoot it," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. "We just didn't connect. We're not a very confident group right now."
The Bruins have never finished lower than fourth in the Pac-10, but with two games remaining, they are in a tie for fifth.
Stanford, which has won or shared the last three conference titles, enters the final weekend of play also tied for fifth.
Senior forward Matt Barnes, UCLA's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, sat out the game while serving a one-game suspension for a fight on Thursday involving California's Shantay Legans, who suffered a mild concussion as a result of the altercation
Sophomore T.J. Cummings made his first collegiate start in Barnes' place.
Stanford was missing sophomore forward Justin Davis, out with a bruised rib cage. Davis started 18 games this season.
UCLA shot 67 percent in the second half and 58 percent overall, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range. It was the highest percentage by a Stanford opponent this season. It was the Bruins' third-best shooting effort of the season.
"They came up with every loose ball and they never seemed to miss," Montgomery said. "Gadzuric dominated the boards."
Montgomery was hit with a technical foul - his first of the year - as the teams left the court at halftime and Kapono made two free throws to open the second half for a 51-40 lead.
Cummings hit a jumper to give the Bruins a 75-55 lead with 5:17 remaining, their biggest of the game.
Stanford closed within 91-86 with 31 seconds left, but the Bruins were 18-of-23 from the foul line, including making their last eight, over the final four minutes.
Barnes hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
Stanford tried to attack from the outside - taking a season-high 42 3-point attempts in 76 shots - with limited success. The Cardinal shot 33 percent from long range.
Thompson had half the points in UCLA's 14-4 run that made it 40-32 with 3:37 left in the first half.