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At Stanford Tonight, UCLA Needs to Show There Is Life After Cal

December 23, 1987|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | Times Staff Writer

PALO ALTO — After watching his basketball team play poorly 12 hours earlier, UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard and his staff spent Tuesday morning analyzing what they thought was one of the main problems for the Bruins.


"We're looking at the coaching," Hazzard said Tuesday. "We're just trying to tighten things up and find out what's wrong."

That could take a while if the barometer is Monday's 83-70 loss to California in a Pacific 10 Conference opener, in which UCLA:

--Fell behind, 36-14, and, by the end of the first half, 45-26.

--Shot 37.8% from the field and 59.3% from the free-throw line.

--Was criticized by Hazzard for being outhustled and for showing a lack of enthusiasm.

All this is of particular concern because the Bruins (3-5) play one of the best teams in the conference, Stanford, tonight at 7:30 at Maples Pavilion.

"It was poor basketball," Hazzard said of his team's play against Cal. "Just the way we played the first half yesterday; we showed no heart. We're working hard on the technique to find the problem areas. . . . Right now, we have good talent, but we are not working in concert."

Stanford is 7-2, including an 88-62 victory Monday over USC in another conference opener. One of the losses came against Iowa, currently the 14th-ranked team in the nation, by three points in the season opener.

Junior guard Todd Lichti leads the Cardinal in scoring with an average of 28.9 points a game, and the two-time all-Pac-10 selection has been successful against most everyone in his career--except UCLA. His two games against the Bruins last season produced 15 and 4 points, respectively, the latter was one of only two times in his 67-game college career that he was held under double figures.

Two others are averaging more than 10 points for Stanford: Forward Howard Wright from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego (13.2) and center Greg Butler from Rolling Hills High (11.0). The Cardinal's other Southern Californian in the starting lineup, forward Bryan McSweeney, is averaging 8 points per game.

The Cardinal has five consecutive victories, its best run since winning eight straight early in the 1983-84 season.

Bruin Notes KMPC (710) will broadcast the game. . . . Since the conference expanded to eight teams in 1964-65, UCLA has won 40 of 46 meetings with Stanford, including four straight. When the teams met here last year, the Bruins won easily, 93-62. . . . Todd Lichti of Stanford hit all 12 of his free throws Monday against USC to raise his season total to 70 of 78 (89.7%).

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