First win at UCLA in 15 years preserves men’s hoops perfection

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The last time the Stanford men’s basketball team defeated UCLA in its historic Pauley Pavilion, the members of the current Cardinal squad were probably just beginning to fall in love with the sport. The Cardinal had been unable to accomplish the feat in almost 15 years until Wednesday, when a career-high 24 points from freshman guard Tyrell Terry were just what Stanford (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12) needed to secure a 74-59 victory over the Bruins (8-9, 1-3 Pac-12). 

With the dub, Stanford preserves its undefeated record in conference play  — the only one in the Pac-12  — and continues its best start to league action since 2003-04, when the team won 17 consecutive conference games before falling to Washington in the final regular season contest. That year, the Card was led largely by standout Josh Childress, who was later a first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Hawks.

Fast forward to 2020, and Terry seems to be following in Childress’ scoring footprints. Wednesday’s 24-point performance by Terry was the freshman’s 15th game of 10 or more points and seventh of more than 20. A new career-high for the four-star recruit from Minnesota, it comes on the heels of a 22-point showing against the Washington State Cougars, which at the time was a new career-best for the guard. 

Though Terry’s name topped the offensive stat sheet for Stanford, it wasn’t until nearly eight minutes into the first half that he first sent the ball through the hoop. Even then, it was from the charity stripe, where the freshman has sunk an impressive 43-of-49 this season, including 8-of-10 against the Bruins. His 87.8% success rate from the foul line paces the Cardinal. From the field, Terry went an unremarkable 6-for-13 on the night, but four of the six he netted came from behind the arc. 

That being said, Terry was not the only one to find success from deep. The first nine points on Stanford’s side of the scoreboard came from three triples by freshman forward Spencer Jones. Even more impressive, all three of Jones’ buckets came in the first three minutes of the contest.

Though Jones’ performance in the opening moments made a career high for the freshman seem imminent, he was only able to sink one more from three-point range and one from the field before finishing with 14 points to his name. A reminder of the team’s young talent, Jones boasts a team-high 45.1 three-point percentage while Terry follows closely at 42.9%; as a whole, the Cardinal has been successful on 39% of attempts from deep. 

With Wednesday’s win in the rearview, Stanford will now face USC on Saturday and attempt to defend its recently acquired No. 25 ranking in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Cardinal vs. Trojan action is set to tip off at 3:30 p.m.

Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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