Wildcats Clinch Pac-10 Title
March 1, 2003
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - Salim Stoudamire scored four of his 18 points in thefinal 45 seconds as No. 1 Arizona clinched the Pac-10 title for the 10th timein coach Lute Olson's 20-year tenure, beating No. 19 Stanford 72-69 onSaturday.
Josh Childress had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Stanford, which had itsseason-best six-game winning streak snapped. The Cardinal had won 10 of theirlast 11 games and 13 of 15. They also had won nine straight at home.
Childress swished a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to cut Arizona's lead to68-67. Stoudamire then scored with 43 seconds remaining and came up with a keyrebound 18 seconds later and was fouled. He made both free throws.
After the Wildcats' Rick Anderson missed a free throw with 18 seconds left,Stanford had a final chance to tie the game. Childress missed a 3-pointer with5 seconds left, then Julius Barnes missed a 3 with 1 second on the clock.
Arizona (23-2, 15-1) avenged its only conference loss of the season -Stanford beat the Wildcats 82-77 on Jan. 30, in Tucson.
Arizona also completed its fourth straight sweep of the Bay area schools,having defeated No. 23 California 88-75 on Thursday.
The Wildcats had won their previous three road games by an average of 15.3points, but they knew a big margin of victory wasn't likely in this game.
The previous three meetings between these teams at Maples Pavilion weredecided by a total of 10 points. And Stanford's win at Arizona a month ago wasonly the third time in school history the Cardinal (22-7, 13-4) had upset a No.1 team and the first time on the road.
Jason Gardner added 12 points and four assists for Arizona, and Anderson had11 points. Luke Walton, who battled foul trouble early, added 10 points, 11rebounds and four assists.
Stanford's Justin Davis had 12 points and 11 rebounds before fouling outwith 1:21 left. He missed the first of two free throws with 1:37 left. Barneshad 10 points and five assists.
Arizona held Stanford to one field goal in a five-minute span late in thesecond half, but following an air ball by Gardner from about 10 feet, NickRobinson made a jumper on the other end to bring the Cardinal within 64-63 with3 minutes to go.
Stanford used a 6-0 run to tie the game at 49 with 12:53 left, but couldn'tpull ahead. Arizona's bench was whistled for a technical foul with 8:10 left,and Barnes converted both free throws to pull Stanford within 60-57, but theWildcats again withstood the threat.
Arizona, which is holding opponents to a league-low 40.7 percent from thefield, limited Stanford to 35.4 percent shooting. The Cardinal started the game4-of-14, but the Wildcats were only 5-for-19. The Cardinal were effective withtheir matchup zone and man-to-man in the first half, switching often to keepArizona off-guard. But the Wildcats shot 45 percent in the second half tofinish at 42 percent.
Stanford missed many open looks early, several from close range, but trailedonly 33-30 at halftime despite shooting 29 percent (9-for-31). The Cardinal gota boost from 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, which led to severalputbacks. They outrebounded Arizona 46-41.
Fans were standing and booing the Wildcats a half-hour before tipoff whenArizona took the floor, and one even threw paper at the players.