Huskies Defeat Wildcats For First-Ever Pac-10 Title

March 12, 2005

By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nate Robinson scored six points - his only ones of thesecond half - in the final 1:07, helping 14th-ranked Washington upset No. 8Arizona 81-72 for its first Pac-10 tournament title Saturday.

The Huskies (27-5) earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAAtournament, although Arizona (27-6) is assured of a berth, too.

Washington outscored the Wildcats 19-4 over the final 5:12 after trailing bysix points.

Robinson and Tre Simmons led the Huskies with 18 points each and JamaalWilliams added 16 off the bench.

Salim Stoudamire led Arizona with 37 points - two off both his career highand Reggie Miller's tournament record. Stoudamire hit seven 3-pointers and theteams combined for 17 3-pointers - both tournament records. He was selected thetourney MVP.

Stoudamire set the Pac-10 career record for 3-pointers with 329, breakingthe mark of 323 by Arizona State's Stevin Smith from 1991-94. The seniorfinished with 107, joining Steve Kerr, cousin Damon Stoudamire and JasonGardner as the only Wildcats to top the century mark in a season.

But even Stoudamire's amazing offensive performance - he scored 17 straightto end the first half - couldn't help the Wildcats to their record fifthtourney title. They are 4-1 in championship games.

The Huskies scored six straight and tied the game at 70 on two free throwsby Bobby Jones after Chris Rodgers was called for holding with 3:34 remaining.

Arizona's Channing Frye scored inside before Will Conroy hit his fourth3-pointer of the half for a 73-72 lead with 2:15 to go. Frye finished with 14points.

With Frye and Stoudamire tightly guarded, Hassan Adams missed a jumper fromthe top of the key.

The 5-foot-9 Robinson fearlessly drove inside and scored to keep the Huskiesahead 75-72 with 1:07 left.

Stoudamire tripped and fell in front of Arizona's bench, losing the ball outof bounds with 46 seconds left. A disgusted look crossed his face as Arizonawent into a timeout.

Then Stoudamire fouled Robinson, who made both free throws, for a 77-72 leadwith 34 seconds left. Simmons made two free throws, then Stoudamire's jumperbounced off the rim with 26 seconds to go.

Robinson stole the ball at midcourt, got fouled and made both for an 81-72lead with 19 seconds left.

The momentum switched to the Huskies coming out of halftime. They outscoredArizona 13-6 to trail 47-46, with Simmons scoring seven points in a row andConroy hitting a 3-pointer.

Williams put Washington ahead for the first time in the game, 50-49, on aninside basket with 12:59 remaining. Conroy hit a 3-pointer for a 58-53 lead asthe Huskies used his outside shooting and Williams' inside baskets to go up62-58.

The Wildcats got the lead back, 64-62, on Stoudamire's 3-pointer - hisseventh - with 7:55 remaining. It came after Adams' 3-pointer that launched 10straight points by the Wildcats.

Stoudamire scored on a short jumper, then beat three Washington defendersdown the court and passed to Frye, who dunked for a 68-62 lead with 5{ minutesto go.

Stoudamire caught fire over the final 3:17 of the first half, scoring 17straight points to give Arizona a 41-33 lead at the break. He hit three3-pointers in a row, to go with the two he made earlier in the half.

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