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Another 0-for-Pauley Streak Ends : College basketball: Stanford holds off furious UCLA rally in final 3:51 for 70-69 victory.


Return to glory?

A return to the National Invitation Tournament might be more like it for UCLA.

After losing Sunday to Stanford, 70-69, in front of 10,936 at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins might be in danger of missing the NCAA tournament, a possibility that seemed highly improbable only a week ago.

Could it happen?

"I don't know," UCLA Coach Jim Harrick said. "I haven't had time to think about that."

He will now.

The Bruins' third consecutive loss--and fourth in their past five Pacific 10 Conference games--dropped them to 16-7 and 9-5 in the Pac-10, leaving them only a game ahead of fifth-place Oregon in the conference race.

And up next are games this week at Oregon and Oregon State. UCLA has won only two of its past 10 games at Oregon State.

"We've got (today) off and we get to do some soul-searching, trying to get this team back together," Bruin forward Don MacLean said. "This was a must-game for us. Our chances of winning the conference are slim and none."

Stanford took care of that.

Winning in Pauley Pavilion for the first time after 24 losses, the Cardinal built an 11-point lead with 3:51 left, prompting several thousand disgruntled fans to walk out, before withstanding a furious Bruin rally.

Trevor Wilson had two chances to pull the Bruins even in the last 10 seconds, but after missing a driving bank shot, grabbing the rebound and drawing a foul as he attempted a follow shot, the UCLA senior missed the first of two foul shots with four seconds remaining.

"UCLA kept taking it at us, taking it at us, and we couldn't shut it off," Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery said. "But at that point, I felt like we deserved to win. We'd done so many things well."

In gaining its fourth consecutive victory over UCLA, the Cardinal (15-8, 7-7) outplayed the Bruins from the start, opening a 5-3 lead in the first 75 seconds and never losing it.

Stanford led at halftime, 37-26, after shooting 60.9%.

"In the first half, we played as well as we could play," Montgomery said. "I was very concerned about the first five minutes because I thought UCLA would be very hungry, based on us having beaten them (last month at Stanford) and them losing Thursday night (to California)."

Instead, the Bruins seemed uninspired, almost disinterested.

"It looked like we were under water," Harrick said.

Andrew Vlahov, a plodding, muscular forward who matched a career high by scoring 15 points Thursday night in a 71-62 loss to USC, scored 14 in the first half against UCLA, making seven of 10 shots.

"We were more worried about (Adam) Keefe," MacLean said of Stanford's sophomore center, the Cardinal's leading scorer and rebounder. "That hurt us because Vlahov was getting the ball and scoring. They told us not to worry about Vlahov and he ended up hurting us in the first half.

"I'm not blaming the coaches. I'm just saying Keefe's one of the best players in the conference and we were definitely worried about him."

Vlahov scored 20 points. Keefe made only two of seven shots, but made 13 of 15 free throws, and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Deshon Wingate scored 12 as Stanford's front line accounted for 49 points.

MacLean led UCLA with 15 points, but made only three of nine shots. Darrick Martin scored 14, but made only five of 14 shots, and Wilson and Tracy Murray each scored 13, but Wilson made only four of 14 shots.

UCLA shot 40.7% from the field, which wasn't all that surprising considering its recent slump and Stanford's defensive prowess. In their previous two games, the Bruins shot 39.2% against Arizona and 41.2% against Cal, and Harrick called Stanford the Pac-10's best defensive team.

Despite their poor shooting, the Bruins almost won, taking advantage of four Stanford turnovers to score nine consecutive points and cut a 67-56 deficit to 67-65 on a fall-away jump shot by Wilson with 1:57 left.

But UCLA never got closer until four seconds remained.

Wilson, who made five of 10 free throws, missed one with 57 seconds left that would have cut the deficit to 68-67, then missed again at the end after Stanford's John Patrick missed the front end in a one-and-one with 20 seconds left.

Bruin Notes

After victories by California Thursday night and Stanford Sunday, Washington State is the only Pacific 10 Conference team that has never beaten UCLA in Pauley Pavilion. . . . Before winning in March at the Forum in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament, Stanford had not beaten UCLA in Los Angeles since 1952. . . . At this point last season, UCLA was 17-6 and 10-4 in the Pac-10. . . . UCLA Coach Jim Harrick is 1-4 against Stanford. . . . Stanford had not swept a season series against UCLA since the 1941-42 season.

Trevor Wilson, on his sprained right wrist, re-injured in a fall Sunday: "I can't put into words how it feels, so what's the use of talking about it?" . . . Wilson needs one rebound to pass Willie Naulls and move into fourth place on the Bruins' all-time list.

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