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Collison, UCLA crush Stanford

Feb 1, 2009 - 3:17 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Darren Collison and UCLA continued to kick around Stanford.

Collison was one of three players with 15 points as No. 16 UCLA routed Stanford, 97-63, on Saturday to beat the Cardinal for the fifth straight time.

Alfred Aboya and freshman Jrue Holiday also scored 15 for the Bruins (17-4, 7-2 Pac-10), who remained tied with Washington (16-5, 7-2) atop the Pac-10 standings.

The Huskies, who won on the road at No. 14 Arizona State on Saturday, do hold the tie-breaker due to last Saturday's 86-75 win over the Bruins.

That was one of two uncharacteristic losses in league play for UCLA, which has won the Pac-10 regular-season championship in each of the past three years. In the loss at Washington, the Bruins went more than nine minutes without a point after halftime. On January 17, UCLA coughed up a double-digit lead in the second half against Arizona State before falling in overtime.

The Bruins came out firing in this one, missing only one of eight 3-point attempts in the first half en route to a 41-30 lead.

Nikola Dragovic provided the big spark, scoring all nine of his points as he connected on all three of his 3-point attempts.

Stanford (13-6, 3-6) cut the deficit to nine points in the opening moments of the second half, but UCLA fired back with a 26-4 run to open a 69-38 cushion with 12:25 left. Aboya had seven points and Holiday had six during the game-ending burst.

Holiday finished with 10 points in the second half as the Bruins shot 74 percent (23-of-31) after the break, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers.

"We may be reverting back to past years where we're a very good second half team," UCLA coach Ben Howland told The Los Angeles Times. "Obviously that's when you want to be really good, if you had to choose between one and the other. But we want to be good for 40 minutes."

Overall, UCLA went 63 percent (38-of-60) and 11-of-15 from the arc in the contest as it scored over 85 points for the first time in 10 games.

Meanwhile, Stanford shot 39 percent (20-of-52) and committed 19 turnovers.

"Darren was terrific at both ends," Howland said. "Everything starts with Darren Collison, in terms of our defensive intensity. When he is into the ball, as he's been these last two games, we are a much better defensive team."

Anthony Goods scored 15 points for the Cardinal, who lost for the third consecutive time.