No. 10 Stanford bounces back with 65-51 win at UCLA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alanna Smith and Stanford showed they were able to rebound from its worst loss under longtime coach Tara VanDerveer.
Smith scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the 10th-ranked Cardinal to a 65-51 victory over UCLA on Friday night.
The Cardinal came into the game with three losses in their last five games — including a 40-point defeat to No. 3 Oregon last Sunday — but were able to bounce back with a win on the road. They nearly squandered a 16-point halftime lead before putting the game away in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a statement. We lost but we’re not down and out for the count. We’re clawing our way back,” Smith said after her eighth double-double of the season.
UCLA got to 44-42 on a Michaela Onyenwere layup when Stanford scored 10 straight to put it out of reach. Kiana Williams, who scored 15 points, scored the first five points during the run.
“We had to battle. They took us out of what we wanted to do but we adjusted and made some big shots,” VanDerveer said.
DiJonai Carrington added 13 points for Stanford (20-4, 9-4 Pac-12).
Onyenwere led the Bruins (15-10, 9-4) with 21 points and Kennedy Burke added 12. UCLA made just 27.5 percent from the field (19 of 69) and was 2 for 12 on 3-pointers.
VanDerveer and UCLA coach Cori Close credited Stanford’s zone defense for the Bruins having their second-worst shooting game of the season.
“We weren’t crisp. It has been a long time since someone has zoned us to that type of level,” Close said. “We didn’t create easier catches through ball movement which slowed us down.”
UCLA scored first eight points and led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter before Stanford took control in the second to take a 35-19 lead at halftime. The Cardinal were 10 of 13 from the field in the quarter and started off with an 11-0 run. The also closed the half by scoring the final 13 points and holding the Bruins without a point in the final 5:04.
After Alyssa Jerome’s layup put the Cardinal up 37-22, the Bruins scored 14 straight points to get to 37-36 with 5:07 remaining in the quarter. Burke had six points during the run and Lajahna Drummer had four. Smith’s 3-pointer ended Stanford’s run and it led 44-40 going into the fourth.
Stanford: The Cardinal came into the game making just 27 percent of their 3-pointers and averaging 6.8 over the past six games, but they were 9 of 26 against the Bruins.
UCLA: The Bruins — who are in the midst of facing four ranked opponents in five games — fell to 4-5 against top 25 teams this season.
“For us it doesn’t do any good just to get wins over teams that aren’t that good. It doesn’t help us get prepared for March or with the (tournament) committee,” Close said.
Stanford: Travels to USC on Sunday.
UCLA: Hosts California on Sunday.