The Stanford Cardinal, playing for the third consecutive night, fell behind early and never recovered as the No. 2-seeded UCLA Bruins advanced to the championship of the Pac-12 Conference tournament with an 84-59 win at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Friday night.
Stanford (21-12), the tournament’s No. 6 seed, gained a spot in the semifinals by knocking off third-seeded Arizona State on Thursday, but the Cardinal just didn’t have much left in the tank for the Bruins (25-8), who shot a sizzling 65.2 percent.
The Bruins pushed the lead into double digits on a jumper by Jordan Adams just 4:47 into the game, part of a 10-0 run that gave UCLA a 24-5 lead. Stanford rallied a bit, closing to within 15 points at halftime, 44-29, but the Bruins opened the second half much as they did the first. An 18-5 run put UCLA up 62-34 with 12:29 left and basically ended the competitive phase of the game.
Stanford was 20-for-51 (39.2 percent) overall, 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) from 3-point range and 13-for-19 (68.4 percent) from the free-throw line. UCLA was 30-for-46, 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) and 22-for-30 (73.3 percent).
UCLA owned the glass by a 34-22 margin, as well.
Blowouts were the theme of the night at the MGM Grand, as top-seeded Arizona crushed Colorado, the No. 5 seed, 63-43 in the first semifinal of the night.
The top two seeds will meet for the championship Saturday at 3 p.m.