Wildcats Knocked Out By Oklahoma, 88-67
March 21, 2002
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Arizona wouldn't let Oklahoma play its inside game,so Hollis Price went outside.
Price scored 26 points, including a season-high six 3-pointers, to lead No.2-seeded Oklahoma past third-seeded Arizona 88-67 in the West Regionalsemifinals Thursday night.
Oklahoma (30-4) hadn't reached a regional final since 1998. Now the Soonerswill play the winner of the game between UCLA and Missouri.
Arizona (24-10), which lost to Duke in last year's NCAA championship game,could not overcome the Sooners' tough defense or Price, whose accurate outsideshooting kept Oklahoma in it early before a sustained second-half rally.
Jason Gardner, probably playing his last college game, led the Wildcats with14 points. Luke Walton, the son of former UCLA and NBA great Bill Walton, hadnine points and seven assists.
With Duke's loss to Indiana on Thursday, both participants in last season'sfinal were knocked out within 30 minutes.
Aaron McGhee finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma, with 21points in the final seven minutes as the Sooners turned a close game into ablowout.
The Wildcats singled him out after he averaged 25.5 points and 8.5 reboundsin the Sooners' first two tournament games. But they apparently forgot aboutPrice.
Oklahoma jumped out to an 8-2 lead, as Price made two 3-pointers. But theSooners went scoreless for more than five minutes, and the Wildcats narrowedthe gap before taking a 10-8 lead on Rick Anderson's jumper.
The Wildcats shut down McGhee, and Oklahoma had to rely on its perimetershooting. Price carried the Sooners, with 22 of their 33 points beforehalftime.
The Wildcats took a 28-23 lead on freshman Will Bynum's acrobatic layup with5:31 to go, and the Wildcats stretched their lead to as many as seven points onthe way to a 37-33 halftime edge.
Price made all of his 3-points by the break.
He made a mistake when he lost the ball at midcourt, and Gardner snatched itup as it rolled toward Arizona's basket. Gardner outran Price for the basketand got fouled to give the Wildcats a 44-40 lead.
But the Sooners went on an 11-0 run, capped by Ebi Ere's 3-pointer, to go up51-44. They were able to slow down the speedy Wildcats during the spurt, andkept the game at their pace throughout the rest of the half.