Cardinal Comes Up Short In Maples Classic
March 8, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - Michael Wright's layup with three seconds left gaveNo. 8 Arizona a 76-75 victory over top-ranked Stanford on Thursday night.
Gilbert Arenas' 22 points, Wright's inside play and tough defense in thefinal minutes allowed the Wildcats to claim their second victory over a No. 1Stanford team in two seasons. Arizona (22-7, 14-3) also delayed the Cardinal'shopes of claiming the outright Pac-10 title.
Stanford (27-2, 15-2) led for much of the second half, but Arenas' steal andlayup with 3:06 left gave Arizona a two-point lead. Stanford got back ahead onfour points by Jason Collins, but he was called for an offensive foul with 42seconds left. Jason Gardner hit one free throw to pull Arizona within 75-74.
Casey Jacobsen missed a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left, and Arizona set upone last play. Wright got the ball in the middle of the key, sliced between twodefenders and put the ball in.
With three seconds on the clock, Jarron Collins threw a length-of-the-courtpass that was intercepted by Arenas. The Wildcats stormed the court incelebration and joyfully taunted the Stanford student body on the way to thelocker room.
Wright and Richard Jefferson had 14 points apiece for Arizona, which won itsfifth straight and likely sewed up a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. LorenWoods had 10 points and eight rebounds while playing solid defense againstStanford's Collins twins.
Jacobsen and Jason Collins had 20 points apiece for Stanford, which finishedthe regular season against Arizona State on Saturday, lost at home for thesecond time in four games.
Much of the game's drama was lost when Stanford swept UCLA and USClast week in Los Angeles. Those wins guaranteed the Cardinal a share of theirthird straight conference title and practically assured a No. 1 seed in theNCAA tournament no matter the results of their last two games.
But when Arizona is in town, it's never a normal game for Stanford. Studentsbegan camping out Monday for tickets to the annual grudge match. One studentstood outside the gym holding a sign that made a uniquely Stanford plea: 'WillTutor Math For Tickets.'
Though little was technically at stake, the teams played as if their seasonsdepended on bragging rights in this heated rivalry. Neither team gained asizeable lead all night.
Stanford began the game with Curtis Borchardt out for the season and backupforward Justin Davis unavailable because of an ankle injury. Then Jason Collinspicked up three fouls in the game's first five minutes, leaving sporadicallyused backup Teyo Johnson to play 16 minutes.
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer