PALO ALTO ““ Just when it seemed that the UCLA men’s basketball team had built some momentum, it reverted to its early-season ways on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 70-59 contest to Stanford at Maples Pavilion.

Coming off a thrilling 76-75 overtime victory at California on Wednesday night, UCLA showed its youth and inexperience by turning the ball over 23 times. That, combined with Cardinal sophomore guard Jeremy Green’s game-high 30 points, doomed the Bruins (7-9, 2-2 Pac-10) in a failed attempt to even their season record and earn a sweep of the Bay Area schools.

“As we look back on it, it was a winnable game,” Coach Ben Howland said. “We were right there.”

UCLA trailed by as little as six points with more than four minutes remaining, but only scored four points in the final 4:06.

Senior forward Landry Fields had 16 for a Stanford (8-7, 2-1 Pac-10) team that was coming off a narrow 54-53 defeat of USC on Wednesday night. Fields may be the Cardinal’s leader, but the afternoon clearly belonged to Green, who was 11-of-18 from the field.

Howland again went to the 2-3 zone defense for parts of Saturday’s game. The switch, along with 57 percent shooting in the first half, had allowed the Bruins to erase an early six-point deficit.

Yet Green almost single-handedly carried Stanford to a 34-33 lead at the half, sealing it with a desperate, off-balance 3-pointer from the right wing that banked in as time expired. He scored 17 before the break.

“We knew he was going to be hard to defend,” Howland said.

Green, who had only averaged 16.7 points per game, picked up where he left off in the second, making two of his game-high five 3-pointers to give the Cardinal a 46-40 lead and send most of the 6,946 fans in attendance into a frenzy.

UCLA pulled within one point after senior forward James Keefe hit a 3-pointer and then looked to take the lead, but sophomore guard Malcolm Lee committed one of his game-high seven turnovers in what was emblematic of the rough afternoon.