UCLA completes sweep of Stanford, wins Pac-10 tournamentMar 16, 2008 - 3:05 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- No controversy, same outcome.
Darren Collison scored 28 points as second-ranked UCLA captured its second Pac-10 tournament title in three years by holding off No. 11 Stanford, 67-64, on Saturday.
Freshman Kevin Love added 12 points - despite being bothered by back spasms - for top-seeded UCLA (31-3), which swept all three meetings between the squads.
"To beat Stanford, as good a team as they are, three times in a row this season is incredible," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "I think they have a chance to be a Final Four team, I'm just glad they're not in our bracket anymore."
It was an identical result from two weeks earlier when the two met with a regular-season conference title on the line.
In that game on March 6, the Bruins prevailed in overtime, 77-67. The outcome was marked by a controversial foul call against the Cardinal at the end of regulation.
In this one, UCLA pulled away late, outscoring Stanford, 22-10, over a 13-minute stretch in the second half.
Collison led the charge, consistently dribbling through traffic and using the high screen off the pick-and-roll to get to the basket for easy layups.
"Fortunately, they had a hard time stopping the pick-and-roll and I took advantage of it getting our guys open," said Collison, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "And I thought that was a big key."
The Cardinal went scoreless for six minutes at one point during that span and the Bruins took advantage with an 11-0 run that put them ahead 50-45 with 8:25 remaining.
Stanford (26-7) nearly came alive in time, getting to within 65-64 on a dunk by Lawrence Hill with three seconds left.
Following two free throws by Collison, Anthony Goods tried a running 3-pointer from just inside the midcourt line that bounced off the side of the rim.
"Time was running down and I was trying to get as close as I could to get the shot off in regulation," Goods said. "Just a little off to the right."
UCLA was able to overcome its free throw deficiencies, despite hitting only 9-of-23 attempts. They did, however, outrebound the Cardinal, who entered averaging 8.5 more boards a game than their opponents, by a 43-35 margin.
Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and Goods added 13 for the Cardinal.
"You've got to get up and get ready to play against a team like UCLA," Lopez said. "You got to look forward to it, you know it's going to be a good game and you know they're going to bring they're best."
The Bruins trailed by as many as seven points in the first half before heading into the break tied at 32-32.
Love was in visible discomfort during the opening 20 minutes. He hobbled over in pain and grabbed his lower right side of his back on multiple occasions, and got treatment on the sideline during breaks in action.
"I just felt like I had to play through it," Love said. "Whether it was going to get worse or not, I just wanted to help my team win as much as possible."
UCLA played without forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who was sidelined after suffering a sprained ankle in the first half of Friday's matchup with Southern California.
- PAC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP
AT LOS ANGELES
NCAA BB PAC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
STANFORD (11) 32 32 64
UCLA (2) 32 35 67 FINAL
Mar 15 8:19 PM
- PAC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP
AT LOS ANGELES
NCAA BB (11) STANFORD 32
(2) UCLA 32 HALFTIME
Mar 15 7:05 PM
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