Stanford Slips Past UCLA

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Stanford's defense wasn't stopping UCLA's Jason Kapono and Ray Young, so the Cardinal simply shot better.

Julius Barnes scored 27 points and No. 21 Stanford beat UCLA 93-84 on Saturday, its sixth consecutive victory at Pauley Pavilion, the most by any opponent.

'That's not as important as winning each game each time because it's meant something in the Pac-10 race,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'We're not as wrapped up in the streak as we are in the individual game.'

The Cardinal (21-6, 12-3 Pac-10) also won its fifth straight and ninth in 10 games despite blowing a 10-point lead in the second half.

'We did a very poor job of guarding their shooters,' UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. 'Offensively, 84 points is enough to win a Pac-10 game, but defensively we were not alert. It's one thing to get shots, it's another to make them. They made their shots.'

Stanford shot 60 percent for the game and was 19-of-21 from the free throw line. Barnes made all seven of his foul shots, while Rob Little was 4-for-4.

'With the way UCLA is playing and the confidence they're showing, I believe they can win the Pac-10 tournament.'
-- Stanford coach Mike Montgomery

Kapono scored 27 points and Young tied his career high with 22 - including making all five of his 3-pointers - in his second straight start in place of injured guard Cedric Bozeman.

'We just weren't getting our hands up on defense to stop their shots,' Montgomery said. 'Kapono and Young were hitting all over and when Kapono gets in his rhythm, he's awfully hard to stop. That's senior leadership and they sure showed it.'

The Bruins (6-17, 3-11) fell to 3-10 on their home court, have lost 12 of their last 15 and remain in jeopardy of missing the Pac-10 tournament, which only takes the top eight teams.

Montgomery hasn't written them off, however.

'With the way UCLA is playing and the confidence they're showing, I believe they can win the Pac-10 tournament,' he said.

Kapono and Young hit consecutive 3-pointers over the final 59 seconds to cut UCLA's deficit to 88-84. The Bruins were forced to foul Barnes, who made both for a 90-84 lead with 39 seconds left. Then Kapono missed a 3-pointer and Young fouled Barnes again as fans headed to the exits.

'We have progress in the sense we're playing hard,' said Kapono, who hit his 300th career 3-pointer in the first half. 'We've been playing well, but we haven't been able to win.'

Any momentum UCLA generated with its overtime upset of No. 18 California on Thursday that snapped its 10-game conference losing skid disappeared with the loss.

'We're making some sort of progress,' Young said. 'All we can do is win some more games.'

The Bruins got within one point on consecutive 3-pointers by Kapono and Dijon Thompson with 5:14 left, but the Cardinal scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer by Barnes.

Matt Lottich added 20 points, including five of Stanford's 10 3-pointers. The Cardinal completed the season sweep after winning 52-51 on Jan. 23.

'We know we haven't played the kind of ball we're capable of playing,' Barnes said. 'In the first half, they got in the post or they penetrated and threw it out for a three, so we have to limit our opponents' ability to make those kind of baskets.'

Kapono opened the second half by hitting consecutive 3-pointers and two free throws, but Stanford countered with 13 points for its largest lead of the half, 57-47. Lottich hit two 3-pointers and Barnes added another in the spurt.

The Bruins came right back with a 16-6 run that tied it at 63. Andre Patterson had nine points as UCLA got most of its points inside.

The Cardinal shot 64 percent in the first half to take a 44-39 lead. Stanford made six 3-pointers in the half, including two straight by Barnes, for its largest lead of 16 points.

But the Bruins chipped away on 3-pointers by Young and Kapono and outscored Stanford 18-9 over the final five minutes to get the deficit back to single digits.

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