No. 4 Stanford 61, UCLA 59
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Stanford coach Amy Tucker said there was only one good thing to say about the fourth-ranked Cardinal’s 61-59 victory over UCLA on Sunday _ her team won.
Vanessa Nygaard and Kate Starbird scored 19 points each as Stanford held off the Bruins for its 12th straight victory.
``Defense and rebounding have been our staples, but I was disappointed with both aspects today,″ Tucker said. ``I wasn’t very happy with the way we played. Give UCLA credit for hanging in there the whole way with a chance to win it at the end.″
UCLA’s Erica Gomez missed a 3-point shot with three seconds remaining that could have tied the game and was fouled after the shot, with one second left.
Gomez, a freshman, made the first free throw to draw UCLA within two points, but in her effort to miss the second attempt, she failed to hit the rim. Stanford, which had blown most of an eight-point lead in the late going, then inbounded the ball and time ran out.
Jamila Wideman and Olympia Scott added eight points apiece and Wideman had seven assists for Stanford (18-2, 11-0 Pac-10), a winner of 20 straight conference games dating to last year.
Nickey Hilbert led UCLA (10-10, 5-6) with 18 points, while reserve Aisha Veasley had 12 and Tawana Grimes 10. Zrinka Kristich had 11 rebounds to lead the Bruins to a 39-29 advantage off the boards.
Stanford was ahead 60-52 when the Bruins scored six straight points _ all by Hilbert _ to make it 60-58 with 30 seconds left.
Wideman made one free throw with 10 seconds to go, but missed the second and UCLA got the rebound. Then came the potential game-tying shot by Gomez and the ensuing foul.
The game was played before a crowd of 5,512 at Pauley Pavilion, setting a UCLA record for a regular-season women’s game. The old record was 5,133 who attended a game against Southern California on March 9, 1983.
``Yes, playing the No. 4-ranked team like this is a positive, but winning this kind of game is what our real goal is,″ UCLA coach Kathy Olivier said. ``We did not do the little things at the end we had to do in order to win.
``Our team raised its level of intensity to meet the challenge and I think this big crowd had a lot to do with that.″