UCLA lost 74-59 to Stanford in a strange game where the offense had a great streak to take the lead in the first half but was shut down for most of the game by Stanford’s defense with an assist from the referees. UCLA offense seemed more likely to get called for traveling than score for portions of the game.
The first half was, exactly what you did not expect. Sure it started off to script with UCLA’s offense struggling but being carried by one player, Jaime Jaquez Jr. with 9 of UCLA’s first 13 points. The defense giving up three pointers to Stanford’s designated three shooter Spencer Jones. UCLA fell behind 18-9.
But there were more unexpected things. UCLA started Tyger Campbell with David Singleton. Singleton who seemed forgotten all the sudden was on the court as a starter with 13 first half minutes and plus five in the plus/minus stat. (Meanwhile Prince Ali only played two minutes for the game. It was as if Cronin was listening to the fans.)
UCLA answered with one of its nicest offensive runs of the year against the PAC 12’s number one defense to turn a 9-point deficit into a 7-point lead. Everyone seemingly scored during the run. There were some passes and the team looked as good as it has looked as a team on offense this season. UCLA was shutting Stanford down as well. Stanford was constantly getting stopped driving to the rim.
Then the half ended poorly. UCLA turned the ball over on several questionable traveling calls. Stanford answered UCLA’s run and ended up shooting 54% for the half. (Although they only went 1-6 from three after starting out 3-3.)
Stanford put together another run early the second half to extend the lead as high as 12.
The second half continued some weird themes. Stanford worked on pounding the ball inside, sometimes by driving, sometimes feeding the post but scoring a lot in close. They did hit some threes but it seemed like they were beating us inside more.
On offense, Mick Cronin received a technical foul in the second half. From what I saw whatever he said the SPTR deserved it. Stanford’s defense was good but at one point there were three possessions in a row where UCLA was called an offensive foul. Typical was one on Jalen Hill for setting a screen where it sure looked like he was not moving.
With UCLA struggling to even get a shot off; it was not surprising that Stanford extended the lead and cruised to a 15 point victory.
- Player of the Game for UCLA: Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting. More impressively he never stops. Diving, hustling, at one point covering Stanford’s point guard, he tried to do it all.
- Cronin Clock Chronicles: Tonight’s unexpected/surprising rotation decision by Coach Mick Cronin was David Singleton. Singleton played the most minutes of any Bruin and the second most of his career since last year in the PAC 12 tourney against Stanford. Singleton was 3-6 from three and played well, sometimes paired with Campbell, other times running point. Will Singleton remain in the starting line up? Who knows.
- “The theme of the night for UCLA’s offense is traveling” according to the Long and Don MacLean, the PAC 12 announcers. Chris Smith had 4 traveling calls against him. I thought one was legitimate. Stanford only had 2 steals for UCLA’s 16 turnovers. Again Cronin received a technical for the officiating and it seemed justified as the traveling calls seemed more figments of the imagination of the refs.