Kyle Anderson had 18 points and 13 rebounds, most of it coming in the second half, while Muhammad made a pivotal late four-point play as UCLA held on to beat Stanford 88-80 on Saturday.
Just like that, coach Ben Howland's team is right back in the thick of the Pac-12 race only days after seeing its title hopes take a hit following a crushing loss at California.
"The way we bounced back... was very mature of us," said Anderson, who also had four assists. "We flushed down that game at Cal and came here and stayed focused."
Two days after struggling offensively in a 76-63 loss to the Golden Bears in nearby Berkeley, the Bruins (19-7, 9-4 Pac-12) bounced back behind a stellar effort from their two prized youngsters. Anderson recorded his team-leading seventh double-double while Muhammad finished with 25 points, eight in the final 1:52.
The Bruins weren't as crisp as Howland would prefer heading into the stretch run of the season, but they were sharp enough to beat Stanford (15-11, 6-7) for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings between the two conference rivals.
UCLA also stayed on the heels of first-place Oregon and, at least temporarily, moved one-half game ahead of No. 9 Arizona for sole possession of second. The Wildcats play Utah on Sunday.
"This is a big win for us, a huge win on the road," Howland said. "Kyle Anderson's play was terrific. We (also) got big minutes off the bench from a lot of guys."
It wasn't easy—or pretty.
Muhammad fell two points shy of his career high but shot a pair of airballs. At one point, seemingly frustrated over not getting the ball in the second half, he allowed Stanford's Andy Brown to streak past him for an easy layup.
The Bruins also committed 14 turnovers, nine in the first half.
Anderson kept things from getting out of hand with his best showing in more than a month. The 6-foot-9 guard scored 13 of his points in the second half and fed Muhammad for a key layup with 1:34 left to play.
"When Kyle Anderson's playing aggressively, he's hard to guard," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "His ability to put the ball on the floor is a huge advantage. He's 6-9 being guarded usually by a bigger guy but he's able to make plays at the perimeter."
Jordan Adams added 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Larry Drew had 14 points and seven assists for the Bruins.
Stanford, which nearly rallied to beat USC on Thursday before falling a point short, kept it interesting but missed several layups and putback attempts and had no answer for Anderson.
"We let them get out and do what they do, which is get out and run," said Cardinal forward Dwight Powell, who had 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. "You have to stop them and we didn't do that tonight."
Aaron Bright added 19 points for Stanford while Josh Huestis had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Cardinal have dropped three of their last four games.
Stanford, which lost to UCLA 68-60 on Jan. 5, stayed close in the second half and was within 75-71 with 2:14 remaining when Muhammad made his only 3-pointer of the afternoon and was fouled by Randle. Muhammad made the free throw to complete the four-point play and the Bruins made seven free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
UCLA started sluggishly in its loss to Cal, falling behind by 25 points in the first half, and didn't get out of the blocks quickly against the Cardinal either. The Bruins committed four early turnovers and allowed a pair of uncontested drives by Bright on consecutive trips down the court.
Drew got UCLA going with a 3-pointer that sparked a 12-5 run, most of it coming with Muhammad on the bench. He returned after almost four minutes out and immediately scored on a layup, then later added a thunderous dunk and two free throws to put the Bruins up 38-28 with 4:35 left in the half.
Bright and Chasson Randle both hit 3s and combined to score Stanford's final 10 points, pulling the Cardinal within 41-38 before Jordan Adams drove the baseline and scored on a layup just before the buzzer to put the Bruins up by five at the break.