Stanford falls to UCLA 79-72 in first round of Pac-12 Tournament

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Photo credit: Shawn McCullough, Sports Radio Service

By Shawn McCullough

Stanford shot just 35.5% from the field as the UCLA Bruins beat the Cardinal 79-72 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Cardinal shooting woes continued from their last two games of the regular season in which they shot a combined 40% from the field.

“We’ve shown over the last, I guess, three games a pretty anemic shooting display”, said Stanford head coach Jerod Haase.  “And that was certainly a big part of not making shots and not just threes but around the rim.  And we struggled to score the basketball to that level.”

Senior Josh Sharma led the Cardinal with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Marcus Sheffield came off the bench to add 18.

He’s a heck of a player and a heck of a person”, said Haase about Sharma.  “When I first got the job and wanted to play more minutes, and he was a fantastic ambassador to the program and the university. And this year he flourished.  Always tried to do what I asked him to do and did it at a high level.  And it will mean a lot not just for today but for a long time.”

“Obviously it was a disappointing year, especially the last couple of games”, said Sharma.  “But a lot to do with Coach Haase and the rest of the coaching staff, I think my confidence playing the game and my love for the game has never been greater.  And obviously still disappointed that we lost, and that hurts a lot.”

Stanford trailed the entire game, but rallied late in the second half to cut a 14 point halftime deficit to just seven points at the end of the game.

Sheffield on shots falling late in the game, “I think we just started getting a few stops, our energy increased. And once the shots started falling, they just started falling.  So, yeah, we just tried to compete to the end, really.”

With the loss, the Cardinal fell to 15-16 on the season.

“We’re certainly disappointed”, said Haase on the season.  “At this point, though, we’re probably looking back to the entire year and trying to find some of the positives and understand some of the negatives, as well.”

Game Notes:

  • Stanford is now 17-21 all time in the Pac-12 Tournament
  • Stanford lost to UCLA last season in the Pac-12 Tournament 88-77 in the quarterfinals
  • The Cardinal won their only Pac-12 Tournament championship with a 77-66 win over Washington on March 13, 2004

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