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No. 2 Stanford beats UCLA for 11th straight win

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Jayne Appel had a season-high 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots before being ejected with 7:41 left for throwing an elbow that hit UCLA star Jasmine Dixon in the face, and No. 2 Stanford won its 41st straight home game at Maples Pavilion with a 74-53 victory over UCLA on Thursday night.

Kayla Pedersen pulled down a season-best 15 rebounds and Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 15 points and seven boards for the Cardinal (20-1, 10-0 Pac-10) in their 11th straight victory overall since the team's lone loss at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 23. They beat the Bruins for the seventh time in a row after holding off a late rally for a 65-61 win at UCLA back on Jan. 10.

Dixon scored 16 points to go with nine rebounds to lead the Bruins (14-7, 7-3), who kept things interesting until late but had their four-game winning streak snapped. Dixon went down hard after being hit by Appel and was helped to the bench.

The officials quickly turned to a television review at the scorer's table before sending Appel to the bench for good because of the flagrant foul.

Appel moved past Val Whiting and into second place on Stanford's career rebounding list with 1,140. She is three away from tying Nicole Powell's school record.

Appel scored six points and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude had five during a 16-4 run early in the second half that put the game out of reach. Gold-Onwude finished with 14 points and Jeanette Pohlen had 10 points and eight assists.

UCLA hung tough in the first half, but eventually wore down against the more physical Cardinal and tempers flared on both sides late.

The Bruins used an 11-2 run to go ahead 21-20 on Erica Tukiainen's 3-pointer with 7:50 left in the first half. Still, Stanford led 36-32 at the break after trailing at halftime in its games against Arizona State and Arizona last week. But the Cardinal had a scoring drought of 3:07 and went 5½ minutes between field goals.

Appel, an All-America center and the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, didn't practice this week while nursing an infection in her left foot and others also were held out with varying ailments. That had coach Tara VanDerveer concerned how her Cardinal would respond against the aggressive, scrappy Bruins in what was expected to be one of Stanford's toughest home games in the Pac-10 season.

UCLA was whistled for three traveling calls in the initial five minutes and committed four turnovers in their first nine possessions over the opening 6 minutes — and another travel at the 12:12 mark.

The Bruins haven't beaten Stanford since Jan. 4, 2008, and are winless on the Cardinal's home floor since Jan. 16, 1999.

Stanford, home for a rare second straight weekend during the Pac-10 schedule, shot 43 percent and held a 45-36 rebounding advantage.

Melanie Murphy suited up for Stanford but played only one minute after missing the two previous games because of a sore back. VanDerveer had a full squad available for the first time in four games.