Cardinal Unable to Capture Conference Crown
March 6, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Darren Collison scored off his own miss for the go-ahead basket in overtime, helping No. 3 UCLA rally from a 14-point deficit to beat seventh-ranked Stanford 77-67 Thursday night and clinch the Pac-10 title outright.
The Bruins (27-3, 15-2) won their third consecutive regular-season title on their home court for the first time in three years and put themselves in solid position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Russell Westbrook added 19 points and Kevin Love had 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 19th double-double. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Brook Lopez had 18 points and 13 rebounds and his 7-foot twin Robin added 14 points for Stanford (24-5, 13-4), which has lost five of its last six against the Bruins. Taj Finger scored 10 points.ADVERTISEMENT
Mbah a Moute dunked off Collison's pass to put UCLA up 65-63, its first lead since starting the game 2-0. From there, the Bruins rolled in front of 12,671 cheering fans.
UCLA ran off eight straight points--four each by Russell Westbrook and Love -- to close within three points with 3:17 remaining in regulation.
Finger scored four straight for the Cardinal, including a shot that banked in for a 60-55 lead.
Mbah a Moute scored and Westbrook hit a layup to draw the Bruins within one. Love fouled Brook Lopez, who made the first and missed the second for a 61-59 lead.
Westbrook got fouled in the scramble for Lopez's miss and hit both free throws to tie the game at 61. Lawrence Hill hit a jumper with 7 1/2 seconds left for a 63-61 lead, but he was called for fouling Collison at the other end.
Collison made both with 2 1/2 seconds left to force overtime.
The 7-foot Lopez twins combined with 6-8 starting forward Hill to make the inside mostly impenetrable for the Bruins, who needed most of the game to recover and win their sixth in a row.
Love took the brunt of the Lopez brothers, alternately pushing and shoving the 2-inch taller twins in the post.
The Bruins were held to a season-low 18 points in the first half, when they shot 7-of-22 from the floor. They staggered through a 5 1/2 -minute scoreless stretch when the Lopez twins either altered UCLA's shots or the Bruins hurt themselves with shots that rimmed out and turnovers.
The Cardinal raced to a 12-2 lead and extended it to 28-14 on a run of seven straight.
Robin Lopez's basket pushed Stanford's lead back to 14 early in the second half. Then Love hit a 3-pointer to launch a 25-13 run that left the Bruins trailing 45-43 with 9 1/2 minutes left. Collison scored 11 points in the spurt.
But the Cardinal answered right back with an 11-2 run that kept them ahead 56-45. The Lopez brothers combined for nine points.
Then Love, Westbrook and Collison took over and propelled the Bruins into overtime.
Jack Nicholson sat behind the Bruins' bench, and Jim Harrick, who coached UCLA to its last national championship in 1995, also was there.