No. 12 UCLA meets Stanford, looks to end rare skid

No. 12 UCLA will aim to end a two-game losing streak Tuesday night when the Bruins visit Stanford in a Pac-12 Conference game at Palo Alto, Calif.

UCLA (16-4, 8-3) opened an unusually long four-game conference road swing with losses Thursday at Arizona 76-66 and Saturday in triple overtime vs. Arizona State 87-84.

The two defeats dropped UCLA two games behind Arizona in the loss column of the conference standings and into a tie for second place with Oregon. The Ducks gave the Bruins their first Pac-12 loss, 84-81 in overtime Jan. 13 at Los Angeles.

“We need to learn from our mistakes,” UCLA’s Jamie Jaquez Jr. said in the aftermath of the loss to Arizona State. “We need to learn from these games and do whatever we can to push forward and move on to the next one. It’s a long season. We’re going to learn from this. We’re not going to hang our heads.”

Jaquez had 27 points against the Sun Devils despite a recent ankle injury, while leading scorer Johnny Juzang (17.8 points per game) posted 20 points in the loss, despite fouling out and missing key shots down the stretch. Juzang missed UCLA’s wins over Cal and Stanford the week before the Arizona road swing while in health and safety protocol.

Even with Jaquez and Juzang setting the tone offensively Saturday, the Bruins struggled to a 29-of-78 night shooting from the floor. They were only 5 of 22 from 3-point range and dipped to 34.2 percent beyond the arc for the season.

“It’s a slippery slope,” UCLA head coach Mick Cronin said of the Bruins’ reliance on their shooting. “You’ll be in trouble (relying on outside shots). Right now, we’re struggling shooting the (3-pointer) the last three games, even the Stanford win.”

UCLA beat Stanford in the previous meeting between the teams this season, 66-43 on Jan. 29. The Bruins held the Cardinal to a season low in scoring on 13-of-48 shooting from the floor and 3 of 20 from 3-point range but also shot just 22 of 59 and 4 of 29, respectively, in their own right.

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Jaquez played just seven minutes against Stanford (14-8, 7-5) after his ankle injury occurred early in the game. He scored three points.

Stanford will enter Tuesday’s rematch off an 87-69 rout of Washington on Sunday. Jaiden Delaire scored 18 points, while James Keefe and Harrison Ingram each scored 17 points for the Cardinal.

“Our guys took (Saturday) practice and film sessions really well,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said Sunday.

The Cardinal were coming off a 66-60 loss to Washington State on Thursday.

“They had the edge and focus needed to come into this game,” Haase said. “We started off well, obviously making some shots, but I really thought that stemmed from the mental approach to it.”

Stanford jumped to a 15-2 lead Sunday and never trailed en route to the win.

–Field Level Media


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