No. 1Cardinal Crushes Arizona State, 99-75
March 10, 2001
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
The Cardinal (28-2, 16-2) avoided sharing their third straight conferencecrown with Arizona or UCLA, the only teams to beat Stanford at Maples Pavilionthis season, and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Afterward, students stormed the court as the Cardinal cut down the nets.Coach Mike Montgomery cut the final strand, then held up three fingers as thecrowd roared.
Stanford hadn't won three straight conference crowns since winning thePacific Coast Conference from 1935-36 to 1937-38.
The Cardinal, who lost 76-75 to No. 8 Arizona Thursday night on alast-second basket, left no doubt against the Sun Devils (13-16, 5-13).Stanford led by 22 points in the first half and by 26 in the second whilecruising to its eighth victory in nine games, all but assuring the Cardinal ofthe top seed in the West Regional.
With Stanford undergrad Chelsea Clinton cheering from a seat two rows behindthe west basket, Arizona State lost its seventh straight to Stanford and endedthe season with five losses in seven games.
Stanford seniors Mendez, Jarron Collins and McDonald were honored before thegame. All three starters played key roles as the Cardinal quickly grabbed aninsurmountable lead and spent the second half in a free-throw shooting contest.
Alton Mason, the Sun Devils' only senior, had 23 points. Awvee Storey had 16points and 16 rebounds before becoming one of three Arizona State players tofoul out in yet another heavily officiated Pac-10 game. Forty-seven free throwswere shot in the second half - including 34 in a 7 1/2-minute stretch.
Stanford ended the game in style, with Mendez throwing an alley-oop pass tothe 6-foot-1 McDonald, who made a layup with 2:08 left. Moments later,Montgomery threw his hands in the air to incite the student body to an ovationwhen all three seniors left the game.
Mendez, who had hit 41 straight free throws before the game, made six in thefirst half to break the school record and two Pac-10 marks for consecutive freethrows. The Stanford record, which he shared with Todd Lichti, was four lessthan the conference record, set earlier this year by David Bluthenthal.
Mendez broke the Pac-10 record on two free throws after a technical foul onArizona State coach Rob Evans, whose team fell behind 50-28 late in the firsthalf. The Sun Devils didn't use a player taller than 6-foot-9 against theCollins twins, who blocked three shots apiece and got 18 rebounds.