On a Thursday night in Los Angeles, it only seemed fitting that the Stanford men’s basketball team decided to wear its black uniforms against UCLA, as the Cardinal likely saw its chances at a Pac-12 title vanish thanks to a 72-61 defeat at the hands of the Bruins.
The Bruins (14-10, 7-5 Pac-12) got out to a massive lead early and then held on for dear life, blowing open a 25-9 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game and then fending off every Cardinal parry for the rest of the game.
While the Cardinal (16-8, 6-6) did respond with a good rally to put itself back into the game by cutting the deficit to 56-53 with just 4:45 left in the game, it was never able to grab a lead and fully swing the momentum back its way.
Senior guard Lazeric Jones led the way for UCLA with 21 points, while Travis Wear added 13 and Jerime Anderson contributed 12. Altogether, the Bruins improved to 11-3 at home and notched their fourth victory in their last five games.
Freshman guard Chasson Randle was the brightest star on a dark night for the Cardinal, tallying 16 points. As a whole, Stanford committed 22 costly turnovers that led to 28 points for UCLA.
The Bruins turned in the eleven-point margin of victory due to some late fouling by the Cardinal, and with the loss, Stanford has now lost two games in a row and five of its last six after it was tied for first back in mid-January.
From here on out, the Cardinal’s chances at a regular season Pac-12 title are likely dashed, and its only chance at making the NCAA tournament can come through a victory in the season-ending Pac-12 tournament in Los Angeles.
The Cardinal will get a chance to earn a split on this weekend’s road trip, however, as it travels to USC to take on the Trojans later this weekend with a chance to snap a ghastly streak—Stanford has now lost its last 13 games in the city of Los Angeles, a streak that stretches back to the 2004-2005 season.
Stanford and USC tip off in Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.