Jeremy Green scored 21 of his game-high 27 points in the second half and the Cardinal whittled a 16-point deficit to 4 with a little more than a minute to play, but it wasn't enough to avoid a 69-65 loss to UCLA at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford (13-12, 6-8 Pac-10 trailed by double-digits for most of the second half before a rare offensive surge in the final 4 minutes put the Cardinal in position to pull off an improbable comeback. Stanford trailed 66-62 after Green drilled a pair of 3-pointers in a span of 20 seconds, and the Cardinal got the ball back after Reeves Nelson was whistled for a charge on the Bruins' ensuing possession. But Green committed a turnover and missed a 3-pointer after UCLA missed a pair of free throws and Stanford would get no closer.
Nelson led the Bruins with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Josh Smith, who missed UCLA's win against the Cardinal at Pauley Pavilion last month with a concussion, added 13 points and 9 rebounds.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," the burly freshman, who had 5 of UCLA's 10 offensive rebounds, told FSN's Rebecca Haarlow after the game. "It really hurt me when I couldn't play at home. My teammates took care of the win. Like I told them in the lockerroom, 'I got you guys.'"
Anthony Brown had 15 points and Josh Owens added 12 points and 5 rebounds for Stanford, which shot 44% from the field. Brown, Owens, and Green combined to score 45 of Stanford's first 51 points. Jarrett Mann was scoreless in 30 minutes, but the junior did have six assists against one turnover. UCLA's bench outscored the Cardinal's 21-9.
The Bruins overcame 12 first-half turnovers to take a 36-29 lead into the break on the strength of six 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
Stanford hosts USC on Saturday.