LOS ANGELES -- Shabazz Muhammad scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and the UCLA Bruins (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12) held off a pesky Stanford Cardinal team (9-6, 0-2) 68-60 Saturday in a Pac-12 game at Pauley Pavilion. It is the seventh consecutive victory for UCLA, the longest win streak for the Bruins since they won 10 in a row in 2008-09. A quick breakdown:
How it happened: The Bruins 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 to allow 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 closed the deficit to 59-54 with 47 seconds to play. The Bruins managed to pull it together from the line after that, making their last eight FTs (four by Muhammad and two apiece by Travis Wear and Norman Powell).
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 the previous game, UCLA held California to 39.5 percent.
Stanford made two of its first three shots and had the early lead at 4-0, but the Cardinal were only 5-of-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 his rebounding also made a big difference. It was his first double-digit rebounding performance since he grabbed 10 boards Nov. 25 against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He had a season-high seven defensive rebounds.
Stat of the game: UCLA committed 14 turnovers -- the most since Dec. 15 -- but Drew II had seven assists and only one turnover. During 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 at Utah and Colorado next week. The Bruins struggled to finish the game Saturday, so it will be a test to see if they can finish 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.