Cardinal get 12th straight win vs. Bruins

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Candice Wiggins put on a show for her family and friends.

The Stanford freshman forward, cheered on by about 200 family members and friends from the San Diego area, had 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lead the Cardinal (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) to an 81-68 victory over UCLA on Sunday.

"I was talking to my high school coach at the hotel, and he told me it was up to 200 people," said Wiggins, the daughter of late San Diego Padres player Alan Wiggins. "I was getting a little nervous."

Brooke Smith added 20 points for Stanford (24-2, 15-1), which clinched the Pac-10 title on Friday and is trying to position itself for one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal have won 15 consecutive games overall and 12 straight against the Bruins dating to 2000.

After a sluggish start, Stanford (24-2, 15-1 Pac-10) took control of the game in the final minutes of the first half. The Cardinal, who have yet to trail at halftime this season, went on a 23-4 run to turn a 27-20 deficit into a 43-31 halftime lead.

UCLA (16-10, 10-7) never got closer than nine in the second half. Smith and Kristen Newlin each had seven points during the decisive first-half run, and Smith went into the locker room with 13 points.

Nikki Blue had 24 points, and Lisa Willis added 15 for UCLA.

The Bruins had problems inside when starting post players Lindsey Pluimer and Amanda Livingston each picked up two early fouls. They played only 21 minutes combined in the first half; without them on the floor for much of the half, Wiggins was able to grab 10 first-half rebounds.

"When you're playing one of the best teams in the country, you don't have a lot of margin for error," UCLA coach Kathy Oliver said.

Benching the two Bruins provided to be a blessing for the Cardinal.

"She's the emotional leader of our team," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said of Wiggins, who leads the Cardinal in scoring at 17.1 points and averages 4.6 rebounds. "Every once in a while she makes mistakes but I tell her that if she's perfect, then I wouldn't be earning my pay."

The Bruins were just 2-of-16 from 3-point range. Willis, the team's second-leading scorer and best 3-point shooter, was just 3-of-17 from the field and 1-of-8 on 3-pointers.