Bruins Drop Contest Against Cardinal, 78-65

Feb. 20, 2005

AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. - Chris Hernandez scored eight of his career-high 37points in the final 3 minutes while carrying Stanford to its sixth straightvictory over UCLA, 78-65 on Sunday.

Hernandez had the best game of his three seasons at Stanford (15-9, 9-5Pac-10), hitting five 3-pointers and going 13-for-22 with several tough basketsduring the Cardinal's two lengthy runs spanning halftime. His accuracy andenergy was the difference in Stanford's third straight victory overall.

Matt Haryasz and Fred Washington scored 12 points apiece for Stanford, whichfinished up a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools and took a comfortable holdon third place in the conference standings, 1{ games ahead of UCLA with atiebreaker edge over the Bruins.

Dijon Thompson had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins (14-9, 8-7), whohave lost to all three teams ahead of them in the conference standings over thepast five games.

Freshman Jordan Farmar had 16 points and seven assists for UCLA, which hadlittle of the offensive spark it showed in a win over California on Thursday,frequently settling for poor shots. Farmar struggled in his matchup withHernandez, making seven turnovers and failing to stay with the Stanford junioron defense.

With leading scorer Dan Grunfeld out for the season with a torn kneeligament, Hernandez knows the Cardinal's postseason success could depend on hisability to score while still playing his favorite role as Stanford's bestplaymaker.

So Hernandez was aggressive and accurate from the start, scoring 22 pointsand hitting three 3-pointers on 8-for-13 shooting in the first half. Washingtonhad five steals in the first half, and Stanford went into halftime on a 23-8run.

Stanford then opened the second half on a 21-9 run, including six pointsfrom Haryasz. UCLA made a 17-5 run to cut Stanford's lead to 10 points with4:48 to play, but Hernandez made a layup and two free throws to exceed hisprevious career-high, set earlier this season in an overtime victory over SanFrancisco.

Hernandez capped his performance with a 3-pointer from two steps behind theline with 10 seconds left.

Former Stanford star Josh Childress, now a rookie with the Atlanta Hawks,watched from a seat next to new Cardinal football coach Walt Harris.

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