UCLA sophomore point guard Jaylen Hands had 22 points and a career-high 11 rebounds as the Bruins held off Stanford 79-72 in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
UCLA led by 26 points in the second half, but the Cardinal climbed within 69-62 on a 3-point shot by Marcus Sheffield with 1:12 to go.
Hands made two free throws with 1:06 left, and Kris Wilkes expanded the lead to 73-62 by sinking two foul shots with 51.2 seconds remaining to help thwart the rally.
Stanford’s Bryce Wills converted a four-point play with 16.9 seconds left, but Hands closed out the scoring with two more points from the foul line.
Seventh-seeded UCLA (17-15) will play second-seeded Arizona State in the quarterfinals on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena. The Sun Devils won the only regular-season meeting, 84-73 in Los Angeles on Jan. 24.
Stanford (15-16) lost five of its last six games.
Hands’ previous four career double-doubles had been with points and assists. Jalen Hill contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for UCLA. Chris Smith scored 14. Wilkes added 12.
Sharma led Stanford with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Sheffield also scored 18, making 7 of 11 field-goal attempts.
Stanford all-conference forward KZ Okpala, averaging 17.1 points, sat out the final 11:17 of the first half because of foul trouble and didn’t score until there was 16:35 left in the game. That cut Stanford’s deficit to 15, but UCLA followed with a 15-4 run for its largest lead of the game at 57-31.
Okpala finished with nine points.
Stanford point guard Daejon Davis, who missed the final two games of the regular season because of a foot injury, was a non-factor, going scoreless in 11 minutes. He sat for the final 17:51.
UCLA freshman center Moses Brown returned to the starting lineup after missing the regular-season finale because of an unspecified violation of the student-conduct code. He had two points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.
Stanford started 2 of 12 from the field, but UCLA wasn’t burning the nets either — both teams were 4 of 16 before Sharma dunked to tie the game at 11 at the midpoint of the half. Most of the rest of the half belonged to the Bruins, who led 36-22 at halftime.
—Field Level Media