Cardinal Comeback Comes Up Short Against UCLA


Jan. 5, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) and Stanford Cardinal forward Dwight Powell (33) jump for the tip off to start the game at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal (9-5, 0-2 Pac-12) fell to the UCLA Bruins (11-3, 2-0 Pac-12) in a hard fought game all the way to the end by the score of 68-60 at Pauley Pavilion.  Stanford did well to hold the potent Bruins to under their season average but in the end it was the Cardinal offense which held them back.

The Cardinal

For Stanford it was, once again, all about shooting efficiency.  The Cardinal  shot 22-64 (34.4%) from inside the arc and 7-19 (36.8%) from behind it.  Even from the free throw line they only shot 9-16 (56.3%).  That’s 7 missed points alone in a game where they lost by 8 points.

The team was lead by none other than Dwight Powell who racked up 17 points, 13 boards, 4 assists, a couple of steals, and was the only Stanford player to shoot above 50% from the field.  His one blemish from the game was his inability to take care of the basketball as he gave it up 7 times throughout the game.  It was also nice to see Chasson Randle put up 17 points although it took him shooting 7-19 to do so.  For Josh Huestis this marked his fourth straight game with 10+ rebounds, scoring 7 points and 10 boards this afternoon.

A positive to take from this game is that, despite shooting so poorly,  Stanford can hang with the best of the Pac-12.  Even more than that, a team who had been ranked in the top 25 for a few weeks this season, fell out of the picture, and is now hitting their stride once again.  Stanford’s defense came to play as well and, at one point, forced 6 straight turnovers in the final few minutes of the second half as the Cardinal were trying to mount a comeback.

The Bruins

For UCLA it was Shabazz Muhammad who tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds as well as hitting 10 of 13 from the charity stripe, all adding up to his second double-double of the season.  Helping his cause were teammates Jordan Adams and and Travis Wear who scored 12 and 11 points respectively.  Doing his part on the glass was fellow freshman Kyle Anderson who hauled in 12 boards to with with his 5 points.

From the Bruins point of view, the game ended up being a lot closer than they probably would have liked in the end due to Stanford’s unwillingness to go quietly and UCLA’s inability to close the game out.  At 6 minutes left in the game UCLA held a 55-40 lead which dwindled to just a 59-54 lead with just under a minute left.  However, the Bruins were able to weather the storm which might have come too little too late for the Cardinal.  In the end it was a valiant effort but Stanford definitely left something to be desired in the offensive side on the ball.