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Shipp, UCLA pull away in second half to dispose of Stanford

Jan 4, 2008 - 7:36 AM PALO ALTO, California (Ticker) -- UCLA started its quest for a third straight Pac-10 regular-season title on the right foot.

Josh Shipp scored a season-high 21 points as the fifth-ranked Bruins posted an impressive 76-67 victory over No. 20 Stanford in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams on Thursday.

The senior swingman made a season-high 5-of-8 shots from the arc for his first 20-point game of the season and Russell Westbrook added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go along with six assists for the Bruins, who won their sixth game in a row.

UCLA (13-1, 1-0 Pac-10), which went 29-7 over the past two seasons en route to consecutive conference titles, had lost four of its previous five games at Maples Pavilion. Last season, then-No. 2 UCLA was upset by unranked Stanford, 75-68, after blowing a 12-point halftime lead.

After neither team led by more than six points through the first 32 minutes, the Bruins started to take control midway through the second half.

Leading, 51-49, the Bruins went on a 10-2 run - keyed by five points from Shipp - to take a 61-51 advantage with 6:20 remaining. Shipp made a 3-pointer to give UCLA an 11-point lead with 3:58 to play, and the Bruins made their final eight free-throw attempts down the stretch to preserve the victory.

In a battle in the middle, freshman Kevin Love - the Bruins' leading scorer - had 15 points and seven rebounds, helping foul out both of Stanford's 7-foot Lopez brothers. Twins Robin and Brook Lopez combined for 21 points and 20 rebounds but shot just 9-of-23 (39 percent) from the floor.

Brook Lopez had scored at least 19 points in his first three games of the season after missing the previous nine due to an academic suspension.

UCLA also held a key edge in 3-point shooting. The Bruins finished 9-of-16 from the arc, while Stanford was just 3-of-11.

Trailing by six points early, UCLA went on an 11-1 run - capped by a 3-pointer by Shipp - to take an 18-14 lead with 12:43 left in the first half. Stanford answered to regain a three-point edge, but Darren Collison made back-to-back 3-pointers to cap an 8-0 spurt and give the Bruins a 29-24 advantage with 5:19 to go in the half.

In a first half that featured nine lead changes, UCLA held on for a 35-34 edge at the break as it made 6-of-12 shots from the arc, compared to just 1-of-5 by Stanford.

The lead changed six times in the first four minutes of the second half, but Shipp's 3-pointer gave UCLA the lead it never would relinquish at 42-40 with 16:15 to play.

Anthony Goods scored 17 points to lead the Cardinal (11-2, 0-1), who had their seven-game winning streak snapped. It also was the third time in the last four years Stanford has lost its conference opener.