UCLA roared out to a 14-point, first-half lead and never looked back Thursday night to win Murry Bartow’s first game as its interim coach, routing Stanford 92-70 in each team’s Pac-12 opener in Los Angeles.
Moses Brown paced the Bruins (8-6, 1-0 Pac-12) with 17 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 8 of 9 shots from the field. Jaylen Hands added 15 points and six assists while Kris Wilkes and Prince Ali each chipped in 14 points. David Singleton came off the bench to contribute 13.
KZ Okpala scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (7-6, 0-1), but he didn’t get enough help from his teammates. Stanford converted only 37.1 percent of its field-goal attempts and was dominated 46-34 on the boards.
The result snapped a four-game losing streak for UCLA that cost Steve Alford his job. Athletic director Dan Guerrero fired Alford on Monday after a 15-point home loss Saturday to Atlantic Sun Conference foe Liberty and appointed Bartow, whose father, Gene, succeeded John Wooden in 1975.
Murry Bartow oversaw the Bruins’ best all-around game of the season. UCLA canned 51.5 percent from the field and generated 21 points off 14 Cardinal turnovers.
Trailing 12-10 with 15:11 left in the first half after a 3-pointer by Stanford’s Cormac Ryan, UCLA ripped off a 20-4 run to take control. Brown started the spurt with one of the Bruins’ 15 dunks, and Wilkes capped it with another slam off a steal for a 30-16 advantage with 8:12 remaining.
Stanford responded with 10 straight points after a timeout, pulling within 30-26 at the 4:57 mark when Okpala rebounded his missed layup for a stick-back. UCLA restored the lead to nine before a 3-pointer from Ryan with 33 seconds left enabled the Cardinal to go to the locker room down 38-32.
The Bruins got the ball inside repeatedly in the half, earning a 30-16 advantage in points in the paint and also canning 45.9 percent of their shots. Their pack-line defense limited Stanford to 32.4 percent shooting from the field over the first 20 minutes.
—Field Level Media