Honeycutt's Double-Double Puts UCLA Into...First Place
By Bruin Basketball Report
Surprise! With a little more than just half the Pac-10 season over, UCLA (11-11, 6-4) is now in a four-way tie in the wacky Pac-10 race after beating Stanford, 77-73, at Pauley Pavilion.
Freshman sensation Tyler Honeycutt continues to get better and better with each game. Honeycutt recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and added a season-high 8 assists for good measure.
Honeycutt who is finally getting into playing shape after missing most of the summer and the start of the basketball season with injuries, has been one of the keys to the Bruins resurgence.
The freshman makes everyone on his team better on the court and has now beginning to assert himself as a scorer going 5 of 9 from the field. Did we mention the 6'8 forward also had 3 blocks and 2 steals?
Fellow freshman stud Reeves Nelson scored a team-high 18 points as he manhandled Cardinal defenders in the paint. Nelson finished 7 of 10 from the field - all within the Bruin blue painted area on Nell and John Wooden Court
With the win UCLA avenged an earlier loss to Stanford at Palo Alto in January.
The game on Thursday was tight throughout the evening with Stanford hanging onto a narrow 32-29 lead going into halftime.
In the second half the game continued to see-saw as the two teams traded baskets.
With Stanford holding its biggest lead of the game 60-54, the Bruins went on a 13-2 spurt to pull ahead by 69-64 with two minutes remaining after a Reeves Nelson dunk off a Honeycutt assist.
Malcolm Lee hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left to preserve UCLA's fourth victory in its last five games.
Seniors Michael Roll added 16 points and Nikola Dragovic 15 points.
UCLA played primarily a 2-3 zone defensive set-up for most of the game, but they mixed in a man-to-man defense in the second-half which seemed to throw the Stanford offense off balance.
One of the other keys to this game was the Bruins committing just 5 turnovers after committing 20 in their prior contest.
Stanford's (10-12, 4-6) league-leading scorer Landry Fields had a career-high 35 points - his third consecutive 30-point gamenford .
UCLA faces the Cal Bears on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion as it attempts to tighten its grip atop the Pac-10 conference.