Jan. 28, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - (AP) Lawrence Hill rattled in a 14-footer to tie the game. His go-ahead 3-pointer was only slightly prettier: It banked in.
"Honestly, I just black out," he said. "I know when the play is designed for scoring and I have an opportunity to get it in. That's my focus. Whatever works."
Stanford made nearly everything work in the second half.
Hill scored seven straight points - including those two key baskets - and the Cardinal rallied in the final 20 minutes to stun No. 3 UCLA 75-68 on Sunday night, handing the Bruins just their second loss of the season.
Hill finished with 22 points for the Cardinal, who are making quite the case for being a contender after all.
Arron Afflalo had 22 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Bruins. But even he had trouble as the Bruins were thoroughly outplayed in the second half and had their four-game winning streak snapped. Their only other loss came Jan. 6 at Oregon, 68-66.
Stanford's students rushed the court in a wild celebration at the final buzzer.
"It's awesome," guard Anthony Goods said. "We knew it would be a critical game. We all got our share of bruises today, but we kept fighting and never gave up."
Goods scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half when the coaches kept saying to calmly chip away. He hit four of the team's seven 3-pointers as Stanford won its third straight and sixth in seven to complete a sweep of the ranked Los Angeles schools after a 65-50 victory over No. 25 USC on Thursday night.
Maybe now it's the Cardinal's turn to earn a ranking. Stanford (14-5, 6-3 Pac-10) was picked to finish seventh in the surprisingly even Pac-10.
They have another tough one at home Wednesday night against Gonzaga.
"Obviously we're pretty happy and we have a lot to be happy about," said coach Trent Johnson, who went to a smaller lineup after halftime. "We'll enjoy it tonight and then at 3 o'clock tomorrow get ready for another good team."
Fred Washington's three-point play with 6:27 remaining capped a 15-0 run and a stretch in which Stanford outscored UCLA 39-14 spanning back to late in the first half.
Afflalo scored at 6:21 to end a four-minute drought for the Bruins, but they couldn't get the key stops or rebounds in crunch time.
"We just didn't come out with the intensity we needed to in the second half," Afflalo said. "We didn't capitalize on the little things. We missed a few layups and one or two shots we normally make. We have to be a little more mature in the way we close things out."
UCLA (18-2, 7-2), which won both meetings last season for the first time since 1995 after losing the previous six matchups, shot 35 percent in the second half. This marked the first time in seven meetings the game was decided by single digits.
Stanford made 8 of its first 11 second-half baskets while UCLA went 6-for-19. Hill hit 8 of 10 shots and Stanford went 14-for-20 for 70 percent from the field after trailing 37-25 at halftime.
Hill and Goods hit back-to-back 3s to get the Cardinal to 49-44 with 10:38 left and Robin Lopez scored at 9:15 to cut UCLA's lead to 51-49, much to the delight of the fans at packed Maples Pavilion. A sellout crowd of 7,334 turned out for the nationally televised game on the same court where the Bruins clinched sole possession of their first conference title in nine years with a 75-54 victory last March.
Hill made the tying shot at 8:28 and made the 3 at 7:29.
Goods' baseline 3-pointer at 16:33 pulled Stanford within 41-33 and he then made another basket at 13:25 to make it a seven-point game.
Stanford made 18-of-25 free throws after the break, while UCLA only got to the line six times and 15 overall. The Bruins blew it after a 17-point lead in the first half.
"No excuses. We had a golden opportunity with a 17-point lead," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "We've got to do a better job keeping the killer instinct."
Afflalo scored 11 points in his first 12 minutes. His three free throws at 10:22 sparked a 13-4 UCLA run capped by Russell Westbrook's transition dunk off a steal that made it 28-16. Johnson quickly used a timeout.
Afflalo had eight points as UCLA outscored Stanford 15-9 to close the first half for a 37-25 lead at halftime. The Cardinal were held without a field goal for 7 1/2 minutes - going 0-for-8 in that span - before Carlton Weatherby's putback 44 seconds before halftime. Kenny Brown hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer.
Howland considered that a huge momentum swing for Stanford. So did the Cardinal.
"I was pretty positive - 12 sounds so much better than 17," Washington said of the deficit.
Brook Lopez had eight rebounds and seven points after getting a school-record 12 blocks on Thursday night against USC and the first triple-double in school history. His twin brother Robin picked up two first-half fouls, as did Washington, but both played a smart second half.
Ryan Wright, a 6-8 forward, appeared for the first time in four games for the Bruins to help handle the load of the Lopezes and Stanford's other bigmen inside.