No. 20 UCLA women beat No. 12 Stanford 56-36
LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Wooden used to say, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
The 20th-ranked UCLA women’s team took heed of the late coaching great’s quote cited by their coach, and knocked off No. 12 Stanford 56-36 Sunday night, snapping the team’s 21-game skid against the perennial Pac-12 powerhouse.
Wooden’s daughter, Nan, visited the Bruins’ locker room after the game.
“She came in and said, ‘Daddy would have been proud of how you played,’” UCLA coach Cori Close said.
Kari Korver scored 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers in the decisive third quarter, and UCLA kept up its defensive intensity the entire game in holding the Cardinal to a season-worst 20 percent shooting.
“In the past if we were weak on offense, we kind of gave up on defense,” Korver said. “We were super-consistent on defense. That’s something we need to keep up.”
Monique Billings had 12 points and seven rebounds and Nirra Fields added 11 points for the Bruins (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12), who moved into a tie with Washington for third in the conference.
“Just a major steppingstone for our program,” Close said.
It was the Bruins’ first victory over Stanford since Jan. 4, 2008, when they won 69-56 at Pauley Pavilion. They earned a sweep of the Bay Area schools for the first time since 2006 and just the fifth in school history, having beaten California 75-56 on Friday.
“That’s why it means so much to us,” Close said. “They’re really good programs and they’ve stood the test of time.”
Erica McCall had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinal (15-5, 5-3), which has no senior starters for the first time in over a decade. They never got closer than two points early in the second quarter.
“We shot miserably,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We were rushed. They came out on people hard. We have a lot of work to do.”
UCLA dominated the third, outscoring Stanford 20-13 behind three 3-pointers by Korver and another by Fields, who had seven points in the period. The Bruins limited the Cardinal to just three field goals while building their largest lead of 23 points.
“We just don’t play with the pace we need to and we don’t read the defense well enough,” VanDerveer said.
Billings’ defense helped contain McCall, who was coming off her 11th double-double of the season in a 10-point win over Southern California on Friday night. McCall was held to single-digit scoring for just the fourth time.
“Hopefully it will be a wake-up call for all of us to just get it going,” VanDerveer said.
UCLA maintained its defensive energy in the fourth. Lili Thompson took off on a fast break, but Fields came up with a big block at the other end, grabbed the defensive rebound and found Billings, whose layup extended UCLA’s lead to 53-30.
The Bruins held Stanford to 23 percent shooting in the first half, when they lead 28-14 at the break. UCLA stretched its two-point lead at the end of the first quarter to a 26-12 lead with a 12-0 run in the second. Billings scored eight points and the Bruins’ defense forced six turnovers during their spurt.
Thompson, who came in averaging a leading 14.8 points for Stanford, was held to five points.
Stanford: The Cardinal scored four points in the second, their fewest in any quarter this season. “That was bad,” VanDerveer said. ... The Cardinal missed eight of their first nine shots in the game. ... They swept UCLA last season by an average of 11 points.
UCLA: The Bruins’ defense allowed just four points in the second, the least they’ve given up in a period this season. ... UCLA improved to 12-0 when leading at halftime this season. ... The Bruins opened the game on a 10-2 run. ... Korver has made at least one 3-pointer in 30 straight games, extending her school record.
CLOSE THE CAMPER
Close attended a basketball camp run by VanDerveer in the Hall of Famer’s first season on the Farm in the mid-’80s.
“My utmost respect to Tara,” Close said.
GOING WAY BACK
Stanford’s last 20-point loss in a Pac-12 game was on Feb. 7, 2004, when the Cardinal got beat at Arizona State, 73-53. The team’s 36 points against UCLA were the fewest ever scored in the history of the 82-game series.
Stanford: Hosts Washington on Friday.
UCLA: Visits Colorado on Friday.