<
>

Rapid Reaction: UCLA 68, Stanford 60

LOS ANGELES -- Shabazz Muhammad scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and the UCLA Bruins held off a pesky Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, 68-60 in a Pac-12 game at Pauley Pavilion. It is the seventh consecutive victory for UCLA, the longest win streak for the Bruins since winning 10 in a row in 2008-09. A quick breakdown:

How it happened: The Bruins (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12) led 55-40 with 6:32 to play and were still up 59-49 with 2:09 to go, but they committed six turnovers during a seven-possession stretch and struggled from the free throw line down the stretch, allowing Stanford to stick around.

Jordan Adams missed the front end of three consecutive one-and-one opportunities, and Muhammad made only one of two free throws during a 45-second stretch in the final two minutes as Stanford (9-6, 0-2 Pac-12) closed the deficit to 59-54 with 47 seconds to play. The Bruins managed to pull it together from the line after that as Muhammad and David Wear made six of six to close out the game.

UCLA turned in its second consecutive strong defensive showing, holding Stanford to 34.4 percent shooting, including 26.9 (7-for-26) in the first half. In their last game, the Bruins held California to 39.5 percent.

Stanford actually made two if its first three shots and had the early lead at 4-0, but the Cardinal were only 5-for-23 for the rest of the first half. UCLA twins Travis and David Wear provided the spark to turn the game in UCLA's favor, combining for the first 15 UCLA points as the Bruins took a 15-11 lead and did not trail again.

Muhammad, who finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, scored six points in the final seven minutes of the first half, and Larry Drew II drove the lane for a layup in the waning seconds of the half to give UCLA a 30-22 halftime lead.

Player of the game: Muhammad led the team in scoring, but it was his rebounding that made a difference. It was his first double-digit rebounding performance since grabbing 10 Nov. 25 against Cal Poly. He had a season-high seven defensive rebounds.

Stat of the game: UCLA committing 14 turnovers -- its most since Dec. 15 -- but Drew II had seven assists and only one turnover. On the Bruins' six-game homestand, Drew II had 54 assists and seven turnovers.

What it means: UCLA is 2-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2008-09, but now must prove itself on the road as it heads to Utah and Colorado next week. The Bruins also struggled to finish the game Saturday, so it will be a test to see if they can do so without the home crowd if they get into a similar situation.

What’s next: UCLA will play its first true road game of the season Thursday night at Utah. The game is at 6:30 p.m PT.