Arizona Edges Oklahoma State To Advance To Elite Eight

March 24, 2005

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    By RICK GANO
    AP Sports Writer

    ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - Give the ball to Salim Stoudamire and get out of hisway. That's what Arizona did Thursday night.

    Stoudamire hit an off-balance jumper from the left side with 2.8 secondsleft, sending Arizona to a pulsating 79-78 victory over Oklahoma State in theChicago Regional semifinals and within one win of the Final Four.

    When John Lucas' last-ditch attempt went off the rim at the buzzer, theWildcats had another memorable victory under coach Lute Olson.

    Arizona (30-6) will meet top-seeded Illinois on Saturday for a trip to St.Louis. The Illini defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee 77-63 Thursday.

    Stoudamire, who didn't score in the second half until six minutes remained,hit two NBA-range 3-pointers to get Arizona within 76-75.

    After a defensive stop, Arizona's Channing Frye hit a short jumper, puttingthe Wildcats ahead 77-76 with a minute to go.

    Joey Graham, who led Oklahoma State (26-7) with 26 points, then drove to themiddle, lowered his shoulder and dropped in a short shot from the lane to giveOSU a 78-77 lead with 18.8 seconds left.

    After a timeout, Stoudamire waved his hand to clear out the floor and thenmaneuvered past Daniel Bobik and popped in a jumper from the left side, puttingthe Wildcats up 79-78 with 2.8 seconds left.

    Arizona had a foul to give, cutting the clock to 1.3 seconds, but theCowboys still managed to get off a decent shot. But Lucas' attempt hit the rim,denying coach Eddie Sutton a second straight trip to the Final Four.

    Stoudamire and Hassan Adams finished with 19 points each.

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