STANFORD -- It took Stanford's best shooting performance in a Pac-12 game in exactly 11 seasons to beat No. 23 UCLA 83-74 in front of 7,031 fans at Maples Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

But it also took something the Cardinal discovered in itself in the month since losing by 17 points to the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.

"The team that played down in L.A. was a totally different team than we are now," said senior Josh Huestis, who equaled his career high with 22 points. "We've grown quite a bit. We're much more aggressive, we're tougher."

The Cardinal (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12) shot 62.2 percent from the field, including 73.7 percent after halftime. Stanford hadn't made 60 percent in a conference game since converting 60.4 percent against UCLA on Feb. 22, 2003.

Stanford forward Dwight Powell, bottom, dribbles next to UCLA guard Bryce Alford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb.
Stanford forward Dwight Powell, bottom, dribbles next to UCLA guard Bryce Alford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. ((AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez))

Two days removed from a 2-for-19 shooting performance from 3-point range in an 80-59 victory over USC, the Cardinal was 11 for 20 from deep. Chasson Randle made seven of his 10 tries from the arc and scored 26 points.

Huestis extended his Stanford career record with five more blocked shots. Anthony Brown scored 18 points.

While beating the Bruins for just the fourth time in their past 17 meetings, Stanford scored its third win this season over a Top 25 team to boost its NCAA tournament resume.

Now winners in five of its past six outings, Stanford's players credit soul-searching after their January loss at UCLA.

"We spent a lot of time watching that game. We were very bad," Randle said.

Said Huestis, "It took the game at UCLA to really look inside ourselves and see what we wanted from this season and understand what we need to do to get it."

What they need, coach Johnny Dawkins said, is a steady diet of the grit they showed against the Bruins.

"That's the way we need to play," he said. "When we do play that way, we're a very good basketball team. I thought we played that way for 40 minutes tonight."

UCLA guard Zach LaVine (14) scores on a layup next to Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on
UCLA guard Zach LaVine (14) scores on a layup next to Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. ((AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez))

UCLA (21-6, 10-4) had won four straight and was coming off a resounding 20-point victory at Cal. The Bruins held Stanford to 39 percent shooting a month ago.

But Stanford had answers for the Bruins all afternoon. The Cardinal limited UCLA's two top scorers, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, to eight and six points, respectively, nearly 19 points under their combined season average.

UCLA coach Steve Alford was impressed.

"Stanford came at us really hard tonight," he said. "They were much more aggressive and better defensively today than we were."

Stanford led 58-44 when UCLA unleashed a 13-2 run to get within three points. But Brown and Randle hit consecutive 3-pointers, and when Brown converted a drive through the lane, Stanford led 68-57 with 7:20 left.

UCLA climbed back to 72-68 inside the final 3 minutes, but Stanford scored 11 of the next 15 points.

"Every time they made a run, our guys responded," Dawkins said. "That says a lot about their belief."

Senior forward Dwight Powell, who took three stitches during the USC game after a violent collision, attempted just one shot and was scoreless while Stanford forged a 38-30 halftime lead over UCLA.

But he scored nine points in the first four minutes of the second half to help Stanford stretch its lead to 14 points.

"He got banged up pretty good the other night. I was a little concerned," Dawkins said. "For him to give us what he had tonight was good."

march 2 game

Stanford (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12) at Arizona (25-2, 12-2), 5 p.m. ESPNU