Stanford Edges Arizona St. To Remain Unbeaten

Jan 9, 2004

AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Josh Childress has a knack of saving Stanford fromdisaster in Tempe.

He soared for a rebound basket with 9.4 seconds to play to give thefourth-ranked Cardinal a 63-62 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.

It must have felt familiar. Childress' tip-in gave Stanford a 58-57 victoryon the same court a year ago.

'I'm sure he likes this building,' teammate Matt Lottich said. 'We'rejust fortunate to have a guy like that with long arms.'

Childress said it was the third year in a row he's had late rebound basketsat Arizona State.

'In that situation, it's do or die,' he said. 'You have to crash. There'sno question. It would have done me no good to sit outside on the wing.'

The Cardinal (12-0, 3-0 Pac-10) had leads of 16 points late in the firsthalf and 14 early in the second, but barely escaped to beat Arizona State forthe 12th consecutive time and ninth in a row on the Sun Devils' home court.

'They played a great second half,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said ofthe Sun Devils. 'We were fortunate to get out with a win. I don't thinkthere's any question about that. They pretty much outplayed us.'

Jason Braxton missed an open seven-footer just before the buzzer for ArizonaState, and Stanford got the rebound as the buzzer sounded. The officialsconferred for a moment, then ruled the game was over - it was not immediatelyclear what they were talking about.

'You have to crash. There'sno question. It would have done me no good to sit outside on the wing.'

Arizona State coach Rob Evans said an official 'raised his hand and calleda foul, then backed out of it. That shouldn't happen, but it happened.'

Evans said the designed play was for Braxton to drive to the basket, thentry to find Steve Moore or Ike Diogu for the shot. Instead, the defensecollapsed and left Braxton open.

'It was a good, close shot. It just didn't go in,' Diogu said.

Jamal Hill's 3-pointer, his first points against Stanford in three games,put Arizona State (6-5, 0-2) up 62-59 with 2:23 to play.

Chris Hernandez made the first of two free throws, then missed the secondbut got another try because of an Arizona State lane violation. He made thatone to cut the lead to 62-61 with 1:29 to play.

Braxton, a 46 percent free-throw shooter who scored all 13 of his points inthe second half, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds to play.Stanford worked the ball into Justin Davis, who missed, but Childress got therebound and scored.

Lottich led the Cardinal with 18 points. Childress, in his third game aftermissing the first nine with a stress reaction in his right foot, had 14 pointsand 11 rebounds. Davis added 11 points and Hernandez 10 for Stanford, whichplays at No. 3 Arizona on Saturday.

Moore scored 16 points for Arizona State. Diogu added 13 points and acareer-high six assists.

The Sun Devils used a pressure man-to-man defense and a suddenly effectiveoffense to take the lead 56-55 on Angounou's 16-footer with 6:39 to play.

Stanford led 40-26 after Justin Davis made one of two free throws with 18:41left in the game.

Arizona State got back into it with a 16-4 run that cut it to 46-44 onDiogu's eight-footer with 12:29 to play. Diogu's stuff put the Sun Devils up59-58 with 3:16 to go. Lottich made one of two free throws to tie it at 59-59with 2:58 remaining.

The Sun Devils led 15-9 before Stanford took over with a 26-4 run. Childressand Lottich scored eight points apiece during the outburst.

Davis started the surge with consecutive rebound baskets, and Lottichpunctuated it with a fast-break layup that put the Cardinal ahead 35-19 with4:05 left in the half.

Diogu's 43 consecutive double-digit scoring games is the longest currentstreak in the nation. West Virginia's Drew Schifino saw his streak end at 48games with a nine-point performance against Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

Arizona State has not beaten a team ranked higher than No. 5 at home sinceWells Fargo Arena opened in 1974-75.

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