for this game

UCLA clinches share of Pac-10 championship

Feb 25, 2007 - 3:37 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Arron Afflalo helped UCLA pull off a trifecta - revenge, perfection and a title.

Afflalo scored 20 points as the fourth-ranked Bruins clinched at least a share of the Pac-10 Conference regular-season championship with a 75-61 victory over Stanford.

UCLA (25-3, 14-2) also completed a perfect season at home (16-0) for the first time since the 1974-75 season - legendary coach John Wooden's final season - and avenged a 75-68 loss to Stanford earlier in the season in which it blew a 17-point lead.

"It was an important game for us because of the way we lost to them the first time, losing that 17-point lead," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "Our defense kept us in the game.

"I was really proud of beating them on the boards. We held them to only five offensive rebounds. That's a huge stat. How did we do it? We just boxed out, it's a simple as that."

This time the Bruins used a 10-0 run early in the second half behind Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to open a 53-40 advantage.

Mbah a Moute hit a 3-pointer and followed with a dunk and freshman Russell Westbrook capped the spurt with a 3-pointer. Stanford (17-10, 9-7) got the lead under double digits on one occasion thereafter.

Landry Fields converted a three-point play to bring the Cardinal within 60-51 with 7:15 to play, but Michael Roll answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession and Afflalo connected from the arc moments late to build the advantage to 68-55 with just under 5 1/2 minutes left.

"It was a real nice win against a very good Stanford team," Howland said. "They are a very solid team. There's a good chance we will play them again. We certainly don't want to see Stanford in the NCAA Tournament."

Mbah a Moute scored 11 points and point guard Darren Collison added 10 for the Bruins, who won their 20th consecutive game at home.

UCLA posted its 10th undefeated season in 41 years at Pauley Pavilion. Of the previous nine teams that went unbeaten, eight advanced to the Final Four and seven won NCAA championships.

"It's great to go through the entire home season and hold your home court, especially in this conference, which is the toughest in the country," Howland said. "It was also special to do it in front of the (school's) 1967 NCAA championship team. That was a special team. This one is pretty special, too."

Freshman 7-footer Brook Lopez had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead Stanford, which lost its second straight game despite shooting 50 percent (24-of-48) from the floor.

The Cardinal were without starting guard Anthony Goods for the third straight game due to a high ankle sprain.

"I thought we played good basketball overall," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "We had so ill-advised turnovers. UCLA had a lot of energy. They outrebounded us. I don't like to make excuses, but Anthony Goods is important to our team, be we have to go out and play the game."

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    STANFORD 33 28 61
    UCLA (4) 36 39 75 FINAL

    Feb 24 7:55 PM

    UCLA (4) 36 HALFTIME

    Feb 24 6:47 PM