No. 3 for No. 3

March 6, 2008

Coach Howland's Post Game Press Conference

Final Stats |  AP Gallery 

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- UCLA needed an extra five minutes to chop down the Lopez twins.

Stymied most of the game by the 7-foot brothers, the Bruins (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) broke out in overtime and defeated No. 7 Stanford 77-67 Thursday night to 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.

"It feels great. We're going to soak it all up," said Kevin Love, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 19th double-double.

UCLA's 27th regular-season win was its most in school history and Ben Howland became the first Bruins coach since John Wooden to win three straight league titles. That's a streak the Bruins haven't had since doing so in 1995, '96 and '97.

Darren Collison tipped in his own miss with one hand from the right side for the go-ahead basket in overtime. He finished with 24 points.

"When you want to win something so bad, everything works in your favor," Collison said. "That was a great team. Stanford gave us their best shot."

Russell Westbrook added 19, eight in overtime, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Brook Lopez had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Robin Lopez 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.

"They played well for 42 minutes and came up short. I feel for them," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "We had a couple breakdowns, definitely in blocking out."

Tied at 63 after regulation, the Bruins dominated overtime by outscoring the Cardinal 14-4. Brook Lopez and Mitch Johnson scored Stanford's only baskets and Anthony Goods committed an intentional foul on Westbrook.

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 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 fouled 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.

"It was good and physical," Brook Lopez said about playing Love. "He got rough and we kept playing. It was a lot of fun. I should have gone up stronger. I should have finished more."

Love took the brunt of the Lopez brothers, alternately pushing and shoving the 2-inch taller twins in the post.

"It's like the walking trees from 'Lord of the Rings.' They gobble up rebounds," Love said about the twins. "I had a lot of help from my teammates. We did a great job on them."

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. Stanford lost for the first time this season after leading at halftime.

"We tried to come out and win the game in the first five minutes," Love said.

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.

"We kept pushing past the adversity," Love said.

Jack Nicholson sat behind the Bruins' bench, and Jim Harrick, who coached UCLA to its last national championship in 1995, also was there.


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS