Huskies Defeat Wildcats For First-Ever Pac-10 Title

March 12, 2005

Box Score | Notes | Quotes | Photo Gallery

Pacific Life Pac-10 All-Tournament Team

Channing Frye - Arizona
Matt Haryasz - Stanford
Chris Hernandez - Stanford
Nate Robinson - Washington
Tre Simmons - Washington
Most Outstanding Player: Salim Stoudamire

By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Little Nate Robinson and 14th-ranked Washington keptwhispering to Salim Stoudamire's Arizona teammates. At the buzzer, the Huskieswere the ones shouting with joy at winning the school's first Pac-10 tournamenttitle.

Robinson scored six points - his only ones of the second half - in the final1:07 of Washington's 81-72 upset victory over No. 8 Arizona on Saturday.

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

'It feels great,' Robinson said. 'We're proud of the whole University ofWashington because we did it for them.'

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar compared the game to a prize fight.

'One punch after another,' he said. 'Arizona brings out the best in usbecause for so long they have been the best.'

The Huskies won their three tourney games by a total of 17 points; Arizonawon its first two by a total of 56 points.

Washington outscored the Wildcats 19-4 over the final 5:12 after trailing bysix points. The Huskies dominated the boards, 41-26, including a 17-8 offensiveedge. All but two of Washington's nine players grabbed rebounds, with Robinsongetting five.

'No question the team that played the hardest won the ballgame,' Arizonacoach Lute Olson said. 'They're one of the few teams that can send five peopleto the offensive boards and are quick enough to recover defensively.'

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

Stoudamire led Arizona with 37 points - two off both his career high andReggie 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 scored 17 straight to end the first half.

'You got to keep telling the other guys he doesn't want to pass you theball and that's what we did,' said Robinson, a sly smile on his face. 'Acouple whispers ... it kills the other team's confidence.'

Robinson defended Stoudamire and compared it to playing without his hands.'You just got to run around and chase him,' he said. 'We said, `He's going toscore, but we can't let the role players get their 15 and 8.''

Robinson joked that he told Stoudamire the Arizona star was going to have toscore 100 points to beat the Huskies. Asked if he really said that, Robinsonreplied, 'No, because he would have gone for 50.'

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 he couldn't help the Wildcats to their record fifth tourney title. Theyare 4-1 in championship games.

'I wanted to be the guy that everyone looks up to, but at the same time, wegot to stay within the team concept,' Stoudamire said. 'We got away fromthat.'

The Huskies scored six straight and tied it at 70 on two free throws byBobby 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.

'Nate always comes up big when the game is on the line,' Olson said.

Stoudamire tripped and fell in front of Arizona's bench, losing the ball outof bounds with 46 seconds left.

Asked if he was tripped, Stoudamire said, 'I think so, but obviously theref didn't. You can't let referees decide the game. We should've been ahead bya lot more.'

A smiling Olson said he also believed Stoudamire was tripped. 'But who am Ito question that call? That one call didn't cost us the game,' Olson said.

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.

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