No. 22 UCLA Escapes Stanford 76-71

Feb. 26, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Josh Shipp hit four 3-pointers while scoring 24 points, and No. 22 UCLA stayed in the race for its fourth consecutive Pac-10 Conference title with a 76-71 victory over fading Stanford on Thursday night.

Alfred Aboya hit four free throws in the final 14 seconds to finish with 16 points for the Bruins (21-7, 10-5), who hung on despite making just one field goal over the final 4 1/2 minutes. Nikola Dragovic added 10 points before fouling out for the Bruins, who won for just the second time in their last five games.

The slump has endangered the chances of another conference crown for UCLA, which trails Washington and Arizona State. With 9-of-12 shooting, Shipp made sure the Bruins didn't fall any farther, beating Stanford (15-11, 4-11) for the eighth time in the last nine meetings.

Anthony Goods scored 18 points for Stanford, which has lost eight of 10 to endanger its postseason hopes despite a perfect nonconference record. Landry Fields added 16 points and Josh Owens had 14 for the Cardinal, who lost all three meetings with UCLA last season before receiving a 97-63 thrashing at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 31.

The Bruins' two-weekend spiral dropped them into a tie for third place with California in the Pac-10. UCLA, which was alone atop the conference standings just three weeks ago, probably would need a perfect finish to have a chance at another outright Pac-10 title.

Stanford pulled within 72-70 when Goods made one free throw with 41 seconds left. Aboya then hit two free throws after getting fouled while missing a dunk, and the Cardinal couldn't hit their final 3-point attempt.

Stanford wraps up its home schedule against USC on Saturday, while UCLA visits Cal for a crucial game for both schools' conference title hopes.

UCLA played without backup power forward James Keefe, who experienced back spasms in the morning shootaround.

Stanford got off to an outstanding start in front of a late-arriving crowd at Maples Pavilion, making 10 of its first 11 shots and going ahead 24-10 on a 3-pointer by Goods midway through the first half. UCLA went ahead on 14 first-half points by Shipp, but Drew Shiller's 3-pointer with 7 seconds left put Stanford up 38-37 at halftime.

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