M. Basketball: Jeremy Green leads late run, but Cardinal comes up short against UCLA

Feb. 18, 2011, 3:05 a.m.

In the first game of the weekend homestand, the Stanford men’s basketball team fell to the UCLA Bruins last night by a score of 69-65.

Junior guard Jeremy Green led Stanford (13-12, 6-8 Pac-10) with 27 points, 21 of which came in the second half, on 9-for-16 shooting from the field. Junior forward Josh Owens added 12 points and five rebounds while freshman guard Anthony Brown contributed 15 points and four rebounds.

Junior guard Jarrett Mann (22) had a game-high six assists in the Cardinal's furious rally against UCLA, but came up a bit short in a 69-65 loss Thursday. (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily)

UCLA (19-7, 10-3) was carried by sophomore forward Reeves Nelson, who had 18 points and seven rebounds, although eight of the points came from the charity stripe—Stanford put Nelson on the line repeatedly down the stretch. UCLA had two other players in double figures—sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt and freshman center Joshua Smith—who scored 16 points and 13 points, respectively. Smith also dominated the glass, grabbing nine rebounds, five of which were offensive.

UCLA jumped out early, scoring the game’s first six points and led by as much as eight in the first half—the Bruins never trailed in the game and led at the half, 36-29.

“We played well but it was in spurts,” said Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins. “We didn’t deserve the win based on our performance for 40 minutes.”

Though the Cardinal finished with 44-percent shooting, Dawkins felt it was lackluster.

“A lot of times our lulls on offense carry over to the defense,” he said. “Our kids are thinking about what just happened on the other end. We got to work on that going forward.”

Jeremy Green went on a tear near the end, getting the Cardinal back in the game, scoring 16 points in the final five minutes.

With about six minutes left in the game, the Bruins led, 57-42, and seemed prepped to coast to victory. However, the Cardinal went on a big final run, scoring on eight straight possessions late to cut the lead to 66-62 with one minute remaining. After a missed UCLA free throw, it appeared the Cardinal might be able to cut it to one.

But on the ensuing possession, Jeremy Green drove to the basket and had the ball stolen. After yet another missed Bruin free throw, the Card had another chance wasted as Green’s three-pointer rimmed out. Both teams jostled for the rebound, but the Bruins came up with the ball on the ground and put the game out of reach with two more free throws in the last 10 seconds.

Nelson’s free-throw shooting was especially important in the final stretch. While the Cardinal desperately tried to get back in the game late, he sank free-throw after free-throw, making seven of eight in the final minutes.

When asked about the last possession, Green took responsibility for Stanford’s missed chance.

“I got a decent look at the three,” he said. “It’s on me to make that shot. And on the previous one, I turned the ball over.  It’s on me.”

Turnovers were a big key in the game, as both teams coughed the ball up frequently. The Bruins finished with 17 turnovers while the Cardinal had 12.

Up next for Stanford is USC, which bested the Cardinal, 65-42, last month in Los Angeles. The Trojans are a game ahead of Stanford at fourth place in the Pac-10 with a 7-7 conference record and are coming off a tight victory on Thursday night over Cal.

Stanford and USC tip off on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

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