Rapid Reaction: UCLA 88, Stanford 80

The UCLA Bruins salvaged a split in the San Francisco Bay Area with an 88-80 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

How it happened: Shabazz Muhammad connected on a 3-point basket and completed a four-point play that gave UCLA a 79-71 lead and control of a tight game with 1:52 to play. The Bruins (19-7, 9-4) then made seven of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Stanford (15-11, 6-11) was within a point at 66-65 with 6:16 to play and was still within four points with 4:05 to play. But UCLA held the Cardinal without a field goal over the next 3½ minutes, taking an 84-73 lead by the time the Cardinal made another basket.

The Bruins led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Stanford wouldn’t wilt in front of its home crowd and made repeated runs at UCLA. The Bruins, however, took a 43-38 halftime lead and did not relinquish the lead in the second half.

UCLA’s freshman trio of Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson had its best collective game during conference play, combining for 63 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists. Muhammad led the team with 25 points, while Anderson had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Adams had 20 points -- his first 20-point game since Dec. 22 against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

Anderson’s double-double was his seventh of the season but his first since Jan. 19 against the Oregon Ducks.

Larry Drew II tied his season high with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He was 2-for-2 on 3-pointers. In the two Bay Area games, Drew made six of seven 3-point attempts.

Player of the game: Muhammad’s 25 points were his most since scoring a career-high 27 in back-to-back games against Fresno State and the Missouri Tigers. He had 11 of those points in the final 6:52, including the back-breaking four-point play.

Stat of the game: The Bruins shot 54.4 percent from the field, putting the brakes on an offensive slide that’s been going for the better part of seven games. UCLA’s 88 points were the most for the Bruins since a 97-94 overtime victory against Missouri in the final nonconference game of the season and only the second time UCLA has scored 80 or more in conference play. The Bruins also held Stanford to 38.5 percent shooting, marking the first time in six games they’ve held an opponent under 40 percent from the field.

What it means: UCLA bounced back from a terrible performance Thursday against the California Golden Bears and salvaged hope of a Pac-12 title with five conference games to go. A loss probably would have knocked UCLA off the NCAA tournament bubble, so the Bruins also kept themselves in the tourney with the win. They’ll need to find some consistency in the final weeks, however, if they intend to make any kind of postseason run.

What’s next: UCLA has an eight-day break before facing the USC Trojans on Feb 24 at the Galen Center. Stanford plays the Oregon State Beavers Thursday in Corvallis.