Unranked 'Cats Down No. 23 Texas, 88-74

Nov 17, 2001

AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - Jason Gardner scored 28 points, including 14 in thefinal 11 minutes, to lead Arizona to an 88-74 victory over No. 23 Texas onSaturday night.

Arizona, unranked in the preseason poll for the first time since the 1995-96season, has started this season with three straight victories over rankedteams.

Texas (0-1) got 15 points each from Brandon Mouton, Royal Ivey and SydmillHarris. Freshman point guard T.J. Ford had 14 assists.

Arizona trailed 51-39 early in the second half before Luke Walton started a14-0 Wildcats run with a pair of free throws. Salim Stoudamire tied it at 51with a 3-pointer, Rick Anderson's short jumper put Arizona up by two and theWildcats never trailed again.

Stoudamire finished with 19 points, and Anderson scored 14 and grabbed ninerebounds for Arizona. Gardner was 10-of-10 from the foul line for the Wildcats,who converted 26 of 31 free throws as a team.

Texas led 43-37 at halftime, thanks in large part to Ford's ability topenetrate and pass against Arizona's zone defense and the Longhorns' takingadvantage of open shots. Texas hit eight 3-pointers in the first half.

Ford rolled his ankle midway through the second half and the Longhornsslowed down considerably. Without him directing the offense, Texas hit just two3-pointers in the second half and shot just 28 percent from the floor over thefinal 20 minutes.

The Longhorns also couldn't match Arizona's foul shooting. Texas was just10-of-21 on free-throw attempts.

The game drew a Texas home-opening record crowd of 15,291 to thereconfigured Frank Erwin Center. New seating was designed to get Texas fans andstudents closer to the floor action and create a more intimidating environment.

The Longhorns enjoyed no such advantage however, as Arizona led for thefinal 14 minutes.

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