Bruins Alone At Top Of Pac-10
March 4, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - UCLA can savor the Pac-10 championship all alone.
Arron Afflalo led four players in double figures with 16 points and the 15th-ranked Bruins captured their first conference title in nine years Saturday with a 75-64 victory against Stanford, securing the top seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament.
Jordan Farmar added 13 points and seven assists, Ryan Hollins had 13 points and eight rebounds, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Michael Roll hit three 3-pointers for nine points, and UCLA rode its stingy defense to an emotional win that disappointed the raucous, sold-out crowd of 7,334 in Maples Pavilion.
UCLA (24-6, 14-4 Pac-10) had already clinched a share of its first conference regular-season title since 1997 with Thursday night's 67-58 overtime win at California.
This is the Bruins' eighth league crown overall and they won it outright by sweeping the season series from Stanford for the first time since 1995 - the year of UCLA's last NCAA title in coach Jim Harrick's second-to-last season at the school. The team's lone loss that year came at Oregon.
Dan Grunfeld scored 14 points and Anthony Goods 12 for sloppy Stanford (15-12, 11-7), which now probably must win next week's conference tournament to earn an NCAA bid and avoid ending a streak of 11 straight trips to the tournament.
The Cardinal received an at-large berth with 18 wins last season - though they played a more difficult schedule and some of their losses came to prestigious teams such as Michigan State, Louisville and Tennessee.
Stanford pulled within nine points on a 3-pointer by Lawrence Hill with 12:25 left, but couldn't get closer. UCLA coach Ben Howland emptied his bench with 1:12 to play and the Bruins celebrated mildly when the final buzzer sounded before heading to the locker room.
UCLA didn't even have to wait on the result of Washington's game at Arizona later in the day. Had the Bruins lost, they needed Washington to lose in Tucson to win outright.
The Bruins beat Stanford 71-54 in Los Angeles on Dec. 29 to end a six-game losing streak to the Cardinal and eight-game skid in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA hadn't won in Maples Pavilion since a 95-92 victory Feb. 23, 2002.
The game marked the last home contest for Chris Hernandez, Grunfeld, Jason Haas and Matt Haryasz - though the Cardinal still could host an NIT game. The seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony that featured video highlights of their careers.
Hernandez didn't score his first basket until Stanford's first possession of the second half after taking just one shot and committing four turnovers to one assist in 11 minutes of action in the first half. But he picked up his third foul at the 17:44 mark of the second half.
Haryasz, 0-for-5 in the first half, made his first field goal moments after Hernandez's made basket. He finished with eight points and Hernandez had nine.
Stanford took a 5-0 lead and UCLA started the game 0-for-3, but the Cardinal committed eight turnovers in the opening six minutes and the Bruins took advantage with a 19-4 spurt. Stanford struggled to take shots against the Bruins' pressure man defense - managing only eight shots in the first 10 1/2 minutes.
UCLA led 38-24 at the break and held Stanford to 35 percent from the field (7-for-20).
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