STANFORD, Calif. (AP)—The last thing Josh Childress wanted to do in his first start of the season was mess with Stanford’s momentum.
Not a chance.
Childress had 14 points and played a superb all-around game to help the No. 2 Cardinal stay unbeaten with a 67-52 victory over UCLA on Thursday night.
Justin Davis made his first nine shots on the way to 21 points for Stanford, one of two undefeated Division I teams left in the country along with third-ranked Saint Joseph’s.
Childress came off the bench in five games as he regained his strength following a foot injury that sidelined him for the first nine games. He also added six rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
A preseason All-America candidate, the 6-foot-8 forward received a warm welcome from the raucous sellout crowd of 7,391 at Maples Pavilion. He made three 3-pointers and had a powerful dunk on an alley-oop pass from Rob Little late in the first half as the Cardinal built a 24-point lead.
Childress appreciated the fan support.
“I didn’t want to come out and feed off them too much and not play the basketball we’ve been playing,” he said.
Stanford (15-0, 6-0 Pac-10) has matched the fourth-best winning streak in school history and is chasing the school record of 20 straight victories to start the 2000-01 season.
Dijon Thompson scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half for UCLA (9-5, 5-2), which lost for the first time in conference play last weekend to Arizona but seemed to have the size and speed to keep up with the Cardinal. The Bruins didn’t last long. No other player scored in double figures.
“You can’t slip against them at all and we did often,” UCLA guard Cedric Bozeman said. “They’re like poison. They physically beat us up tonight. They beat us on the perimeter, on the glass and on the break, every way you can beat a team.”
Stanford, picked No. 1 on 24 ballots in this week’s AP poll, has matched its highest ranking since the end of the 2000-01 season and beat UCLA for the 12th time in the last 16 meetings.
A lot of it had to do with effort, Cardinal coach Mike Montgomery said.
“I don’t think if we went out and put our guys and UCLA’s guys in a race that we’d outrun them every time,” he said.
Matt Lottich had 10 points, four assists and two blocks for the Cardinal, who shot 46.6 percent and held a 36-25 rebounding advantage.
Davis, who went 10-for-11, didn’t miss until trying an acrobatic putback on a miss by Chris Hernandez with 11:07 left.
During a timeout several minutes later, the Stanford student section chanted, “Lavin’s better! Lavin’s better!” referring to former Bruins coach Steve Lavin, fired after last season.
“We were beaten today by a vastly superior team in every aspect of the game,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “They’re a very disciplined team, a very unselfish team.”
Stanford started the game 3-for-11 but kept the Bruins off the boards and forced UCLA into four quick turnovers. The Bruins shot 36 percent (9-for-25) in the first half, and Stanford used its transition game to take a 42-21 halftime lead.
The Cardinal held a 20-9 rebounding edge and used a 15-3 run to break the game open.
As he always does, Montgomery found things to criticize. He started to mention his team’s decision making, then stopped.
“Everything,” he said. “We can do better at everything.”