Stanford survived a second-half scare to beat UCLA 71-66 Monday night. UCLA outscored Stanford 25-11 in the third to rally back from a 16-point deficit and hold a one-point lead with just two minutes left in the game. Unfortunately for the Bruins, the Cardinal displayed their championship valor. Stanford hit five free throws and Haley Jones hit a clutch layup to secure the win.
Cameron Brink was spectacular with a 25-point performance, and H. Jones added 18 points, six rebounds and three steals in the Pac-12 showdown.
In Stanford’s 5-point win tonight, Cameron Brink broke the program record for the most made free throws without a miss in one game, going 15-for-15 from the line.— Alexa Philippou (@alexaphilippou) February 21, 2023
Free throws matter, kids.
For UCLA, it was a bittersweet result with a spectacular comeback falling just short. The Bruins got good games from Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice, who both scored 11 points. Londynn Jones continued her impressive 2023 run as she led the team in points with 14 off the bench.
The victory improves Stanford’s conference record to 14-2, while the Bruins are now a full game back of Arizona for the fourth seed in the Pac-12.
Stanford looked like the superior team during the first half. They were up by 13 at the break and had UCLA shooting a poor 27.3 percent from the field. In the third, Osborne scored eight points to help lead the comeback.
UCLA was up by one entering the final frame and kept up with the offensive firepower of Stanford throughout the quarter. In the closing minutes, the Bruins couldn’t find enough buckets to pull off the upset and Stanford was able to get to the line and hit enough free throws to survive.
Is there such a thing as a moral victory? If there is, then UCLA just got one. They came back from down double digits and proved that when they are clicking on all cylinders, they can compete with anyone. If they could’ve gotten a couple of jumpers to fall in the fourth, the result may have been different.
For Stanford, this was about keeping their slim lead at the top of the Pac-12. Yes, there are concerns with their second-half performance, but when they needed buckets late, a lot of trips to the line sealed their win. They were good enough against a team who played better. And as long as Brink continues to produce at the level she demonstrated on Monday, Stanford will have a chance to accomplish every goal they set at the start of the season.