Slump? What slump?
Stanford coach Mike Montgomery insisted that although his team lost three of four games after starting the season with 18 wins, nothing was wrong.The Cardinal proved his point Thursday night.
Arthur Lee made four free throws and Kris Weems added two more in the final 33 seconds as the 14th-ranked Cardinal topped No. 9 UCLA 84-81, just Stanford's third win at Pauley Pavilion since the arena opened in 1965.
The victory also gave Stanford (20-3, 9-2 Pac-10) its first sweep of UCLA since 1990 and only its second since 1942.
"For us to come on the road and come out here and beat UCLA, it was a great win," Montgomery said. "It would have been really tough for us not to win this game."
Stanford fell behind by 10 points in the first five minutes, but quickly battled back into contention, and a 12-2 spurt in the final 2:47 of the first half gave the Cardinal a 45-38 lead.
Stanford continued to control the game after halftime, and two free throws by freshman Jarron Collins with 8:11 left made it 70-55 - the largest lead of the game.
Suddenly, the Bruins came alive. A dunk by Toby Bailey with 7:21 remaining triggered a 15-0 run, and Baron Davis capped the spurt by making a layup with 4:53 left to tie the game 70-all.
But Stanford didn't fold. It never fell behind, and two foul shots by Lee with 33 seconds to play snapped a 78-all tie and put the Cardinal ahead for good.
After winning its first 18 games of the season, Stanford lost to No. 3 Arizona and Arizona State. A victory over California followed before the Cardinal lost at No. 6 Connecticut 76-56 last Saturday.
"If we lost three games and then won 18 in a row, we'd be the hottest thing since sliced bread," Montgomery said. "It just happens we're playing good teams. If we're bleeding, it's a small cut."
The Bruins (18-5, 8-4), who lost at Stanford 93-80 on Jan. 17, were beaten for the first time at home this season after 11 wins.
ILLINOIS 84, MICHIGAN ST. 63: Kevin Turner scored 20 points as Illinois tied the Spartans for first place in the Big Ten.
CINCINNATI 70, SAINT LOUIS 43: At St. Louis, Ruben Patterson had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Cincinnati dominated inside to rout the Billikens.
TCU 126, HAWAII 84: Lee Nailon had 46 points and 16 rebounds as Texas Christian beat Hawaii in Fort Worth.