No. 8 Arizona Edges Bears, 78-76

March 10, 2001

AP Sports Writer

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Arizona capped its roller-coaster regular seasonwith a 78-76 win Saturday over California, sending the No. 8 Wildcats into theNCAA tournament with a six-game winning streak.

Loren Woods had 22 points and nine rebounds, Michael Wright had 20 pointsand Gilbert Arenas added 18 for Arizona (23-7, 15-3 Pac-10), which upset No. 1Stanford on Thursday night.

Jason Gardner's 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining was decisive. It gaveArizona a 77-74 lead. Sean Lampley responded with two free throws for Cal, thenRichard Jefferson made the second of two free throws with 12 seconds left togive the Wildcats a 78-76 lead.

Lampley missed a 12-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer.

Lampley had 27 points for Cal (20-10, 11-7), which finished tied withSouthern California for fourth in the Pac-10 and hopes for an NCAA at-largeberth.

The Wildcats were No. 1 in the preseason, but were just 5-3 in mid-Decemberand 8-5 after a home loss to Stanford in early January. That defeat came in theabsence of coach Lute Olson, who missed five games surrounding the death of hiswife, Bobbi, from ovarian cancer.

Arizona also struggled this season with the NCAA suspensions of Woods forsix games and Jefferson for one game.

Since Olson returned to the sidelines in mid-January, the Wildcats have gone13-2. Their only losses during that span were at Oregon and an overtime defeatat UCLA.

Arizona led 38-33 at halftime Saturday, then built its lead to 10 points asWoods had seven points during a 13-8 run to open the second half.

But Cal responded with 10 straight points, tying the game at 51 on RyanForehan-Kelly's 3-pointer with 10 1/2 minutes left - his first points of the game.

Wright then took control, powering his way inside for a couple of baskets.Woods made two free throws and, after a Cal bucket, Wright scored again to giveArizona a 59-53 lead.

A short jumper by Woods gave the Wildcats a 64-57 lead with 6:25 remaining,but Lampley then scored seven straight points - including a three-point playwith 4:12 remaining to tie the score at 64.

The teams traded 3-pointers, and Cal took a 72-71 lead with 2:09 left onShantay Legans' 3-pointer.

Brian Wethers hit two free throws with 1:50 remaining to give Cal a 74-72lead, but Woods scored on a layup with 1:34 left to tie the game again and setthe stage for Gardner's decisive 3-pointer.

Arenas had 13 points in the first half for the Wildcats. Lampley, thePac-10's leading scorer this season, had 10 at halftime for Cal.

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