No. 2 Seed UW Plays No. 3 Arizona in Pac-10 Semifinals
March 12, 2004
Thursday - Saturday, March 11-13
Staples Center (18,964); Los Angeles, Calif.
FRIDAY, MARCH 12 --
(#2 seed) Washington vs. (#3) Arizona; 8:45 pm PST (Fox Sports Net)
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
SATURDAY, MARCH 13 --
Championship Game; 3:15 p.m. PST (CBS)
Two of the nation's highest scoring teams clash in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals when No. 2 seed Washington (18-10, 12-6) meets third seed and 21st-ranked Arizona (20-8, 11-7), Friday, March 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tip-off is 8:45 p.m. for the game that airs live on Fox Sports Net. Arizona leads the nation with 87.6 points per game and UW is No. 8 at 81.7. Winners of 13 of their last 15 games, the Huskies finished second in the regular-season Pac-10 standings for the first time since 1986. UW swept the regular-season series from Arizona for the first time since 1984. The Huskies reached the semifinals with a 91-83 victory over UCLA while Arizona advanced with a79-76 win over USC. The UW-Arizona victor meets the winner of other semifinal that pits No. 1 seed Stanford (27-1, 17-1) and No. 5 Oregon (15-11, 9-9). UW is vying for its first NCAA Tourney berth since 1999.
Friday's Pac-10 Tournament semifinals will be televised live on Fox Sports Net. Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson call the action with sideline reports from Jim Watson for the 8:45 p.m. game between Washington and Arizona. Saturday's championship tilt airs live on CBS at 3:15 p.m.
All UW men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Radio Network. Friday's game against Arizona will be broadcast on flagship station KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. In the event of a conflict with KJR, UW games will air on both KHHO (AM 850) and KKNW (AM 1150). Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 17th season. He is joined by commentator Jason Hamilton.
The conference tournament winner receives the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This is the seventh Pac-10 Tournament and the third since the post-season affair was restored after being terminated following the 1990 season. In the four Pac-10 events between 1987-90, all 10 conference teams participated. Washington has a 4-5 record in Pac-10 Tournament play. The Huskies participated only once before in the current eight-team format, losing 86-64 to Oregon in a 2002 first-round matchup. Washington advanced to the 1987 championship game, losing 76-64 to UCLA.
Like the Phoenix of mythology, the Huskies have risen from the ashes of an 0-5 conference start. Just 41 days after residing in last place Washington vaulted into sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 standings with a 89-84 victory at Arizona on Feb. 26. Saturday's 75-62 triumph over No. 1 Stanford clinched the Huskies' first second-place finish since 1986. UW won 13 of its last 14 game against Pac-10 foes, its best streak ever.
Washington had five double-figure scorers in each of the last five games. UW boasts a balanced offense with five players averaging double-figure points. The last time five Huskies finished a season in double figures was the 1975 campaign. Seven different players have led UW in scoring during a game and five had a 20-point games.
The pivotal point in Washington's season came Jan. 17 in Corvallis, Ore. The Huskies were 0-5 in Pac-10 play and trailed Oregon State 70-54 with six minutes remaining. They rallied with Nate Robinson hitting a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and won 103-99 in overtime. That ignited a string of five consecutive victories that ended Feb. 7 at UCLA. The five-game winning streak was the longest for the Huskies since 1999.
UW snapped a four-game losing streak in Pac-10 Tournament play with Thursday's 91-83 win over UCLA. UW appears in the semifinals for the first time since 1987 ... Curtis Allen and Will Conroy each have 282 career assists, tying for the No. 8 spot among all-time Huskies ... UW had five double-figure scorers in each of the last five games. The Huskies combined for 107 double-figure games this year, 21 more than last season ... UW had seven 3-pointers vs. UCLA, its most treys in Pac-10 Tournament play.
Washington is averaging 81.7 points per game, the highest scoring output since the 1972 Huskies finished with a school record 84.8-point average. UW ranks second among Pac-10 teams in scoring and is listed No. 8 this week among NCAA Division I teams at 81.3 points per game. The Huskies have reached the 100-point plateau twice for the first time since the 1980-81 season. The 103-99 overtime decision at Oregon State (Jan. 17) matched the highest total ever for UW in an enemy arena. It equaled a 103-70 win at Washington State on Feb. 1, 1975. The 104-91 win over Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) marked UW's highest point total in 311 games, dating to a 130-67 win over Chico State on Dec. 1, 1992. It was UW's first 100-point effort in 159 games, dating to a 101-86 win at USC on Jan. 29, 1998. The Huskies reached the 90-point plateau nine times this season, a figure they reached only once last year. This is the most 90-point plus performances for a Washington team since the 1972 squad registered 12.
The Arizona Series
> Arizona has a 36-17 lead in the all-time series that began in 1965.
> The Wildcats won 12 of the last 15 meetings against Washington and had an eight-game series winning streak snapped by a 96-83 loss Jan. 29 in Seattle.
> UW swept the regular season series from Arizona for the first time since 1984.
> The Huskies have not won three consecutive games in the series since winning six straight against the Wildcats from 1982-84.
> 21st-year Arizona Coach Lute Olson has a 32-12 all-time record against UW.
> Second-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a 2-2 record against Arizona.
This Season's First Meeting
UW 96, #9 Arizona 83 (Jan. 29, 2004/Seattle)
Nate Robinson scored 20 of his career-high 31 points in the second half as Washington rallied for a 96-83 victory over ninth-ranked Arizona at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (8-8, 3-5) halted an eight-game losing skid against Arizona while posting their third straight Pac-10 win for the first time since 1999. It was UW's first win over a ranked opponent since 2002, the first over a top-10 foe since 1999. The Wildcats (13-4, 5-3) led by as many as 11 points before settling on a 45-40 halftime edge. The Arizona lead was 62-54 before UW went on a 12-3 run, capped by an alley-oop dunk by Robinson that netted a 66-65 lead with 9:35 remaining. The Wildcats last led at 71-69 before being outscored 27-12 over the final five minutes, fueled by 10 points from Robinson. The Huskies held Arizona scoreless for a nearly three-minute stretch during their closing surge. Will Conroy contributed 19 points and eight assists for UW while Brandon Roy had 14 points and eight rebounds. Hassan Adams tallied 19 points for Arizona while Andre Iguodala had 17, Salim Stoudamire 16 and Mustafa Shakur 13. The Huskies parlayed 21 UA turnovers into 32 points. Robinson had five of UW's 12 steals.
This Season's Second Meeting
UW 89, #17 Arizona 84 (Feb. 26, 2004/Seattle)
Tre Simmons scored a career-high 22 points as Washington completed its first season sweep of 17th-ranked Arizona since 1984 with an 89-84 victory. The Huskies (14-10, 9-6) won at McKale Center for only the second time in their last 20 visits and snapped a string of 24 straight road losses against ranked opponents. Arizona (17-8, 9-7) played without Salim Stoudamire who was suspended. The Wildcats took a 42-41 halftime lead on a 3-pointer by Hassan Adams at the buzzer. Arizona led 45-43 before UW went ahead for good with 12 unanswered points. Nate Robinson finished the run with two free throws, putting the Huskies ahead 55-45 with 15:04 remaining. The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to one point on four occasions and each time UW answered with points, including a 3-pointer by Simmons at 2:12 that pushed the margin to 85-81. Hakeem Rollins capped the game with a dunk for his career-high 14th point, all of them coming in the second half. Robinson finished with 18 points for the Huskies who also got 12 from Brandon Roy and 10 from Bobby Jones. Channing Frye scored 16 of his 25 points in the first half for Arizona which also got 23 from Adams, 11 from Andre Iguodala and 10 from Chris Rodgers. The Huskies shot 60 percent (18-30) in the second half and 52 percent (33-64) for the game.
Did You Know?
Washington's current run of 13 wins in its last 15 games is the school's best streak since the 1982 Huskies won 14 of 15 games from Dec. 17-Feb. 6.