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Pac-10 Notebook

January 23, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Pac-10 Conference Notebook

by Scott Allen

Stanford remained perfect with a win over rival Cal and the Cardinal moved into sole possession of first place in the conference as Ben Howland and UCLA lost at home on Saturday. Oregon’s moving on up fresh off a pair of wins and Arizona ended a two-game skid with a dominating victory at Pauley Pavilion. Oregon State and Washington State both split last weekend and, in dramatic fashion, Washington finally got a conference win.

Ducks Dial Long Distance

Led by James Davis and Andre Joseph, Oregon leads the Pac-10 in three-pointers made (118) and three-point field goal percentage (43.7). Davis is averaging 3.5 three-pointers made per game and is shooting 39-for-52 (52 percent) on the season.

Olson alone at the top

Arizona head coach Lute Olson garnered his 510th win all-time at Arizona in the Wildcats’ 97-72 victory at UCLA, pushing him past Fred Enke as the school’s leader in that category. Olson was sitting on 509 wins since Arizona’s blowout of Cal on January 8th.

Player of the Week:

Desmon Farmer, G, USC

The senior dropped a career-high 40 points on Arizona in an upset win at home and followed that performance with 26 points in a loss to Arizona State.

Inside the Pac-10

No. 12 Arizona Wildcats (11-3, 3-2)

Coming off a humbling loss to Stanford at home, the Wildcats didn’t get angry, they got beat – by USC no less – 99-90 in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Arizona’s defense had no answer for the Trojans’ Desmon Farmer, who scored a career-high 40 points. Channing Frye led Arizona in defeat with 17 points and six rebounds while Salim Stoudamire and Mustafa Shakur added 14 apiece. USC led 48-43 at the break and pulled away in the second half thanks to 64 percent shooting. Ivan Radenovic had 11 points, but struggled from the field for a second consecutive game, hitting just 3-of-10 shots.

Arizona apparently had had enough after two straight conference losses and rebounded with a dominating 97-72 victory at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday. Frye tied his career high with 26 points while his supporting cast put on a perimeter-shooting clinic en route to building a 48-37 halftime lead. The ‘Cats shot 70 percent from long range in the first 20 minutes and finished the game 14-for-23. Stoudamire shot 7-for-11 from the land of plenty, finishing with 25 points. Leading scorer Hassan Adams broke out of a two-game slump with 23 points and Arizona outrebounded the previously-undefeated in conference play Bruins 39-31.

Up Next: Thursday vs. Oregon State, Saturday vs. Oregon

Arizona State Sun Devils (7-7, 1-4)

Head coach Rob Evans tweaked his team’s lineup for Thursday’s game at UCLA, but the new starting five could not save the Sun Devils from another five, as in straight losses, after a 66-58 defeat. Redshirt freshman Serge Angounou got the starting not for the first time in his career and finished with four points and four rebounds, but Arizona State could not overcome a sub-par game from their star forward Ike Diogu. The All-America candidate saw double-teams all night and shot just 3-for-14 from the field. Diogu also fouled out for the fourth time in his career. The Sun Devils trimmed a double-digit UCLA lead to three with 24.4 seconds to play, but it was too little too late.

Diogu rebounded from Thursday’s performance with a game-high 27 points in a 100-85 victory over USC on Saturday. Perhaps tired of facing double-team after double-team down low, Diogu provided reason for opponents to fear his outside game, knocking down all three of his three-point attempts. Diogu received plenty of help in Arizona State’s largest point outburst of the season, led by Jamal Hill’s career-high 20 points off the bench. Guard Steve Moore added 17 and freshman forward Keith Wooden tallied 13 points and five boards. The Sun Devils trailed by 14 in the first half but took the lead for good just one minute into the second half. Arizona State shot 61 percent from the field as a team.

Up Next: Thursday vs. Oregon, Saturday vs. Oregon State

California Bears (6-8, 2-3)

As has tended to be the case for Ben Braun’s squad in defeat, the defense played well and the offense sputtered against Stanford on Saturday. The Bears were held to 17 first half points, a result of 31.6 percent shooting and 10 turnovers. Richard Midgley scored all 19 of his points in the second half and pulled the Bears to within 57-52 with a three-pointer at the 3:30 mark, but that was as close as Cal would get. Senior forward Amit Tamir, who has struggled to find his place in the offense dominated by freshman, added 15 points, while Stanford neutralized super freshman Leon Powe.

Up Next: Thursday vs. USC, Saturday vs. UCLA

Oregon Ducks (8-4, 3-2)

Ernie Kent’s squad ended a two-game losing streak with an 84-74 victory over Washington in Eugene on Thursday. The usual suspects led the way, with senior Luke Jackson scoring a game-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. Fellow senior James Davis connected on 5-of-6 three-pointers, including three in the span of three possessions in the first half. Oregon shot 9-for-20 from long range as a team and outrebounded the Huskies 33-23. It was the first home game for Oregon in nearly a month.

Despite scoring 21 points below their season average, the Ducks defense combined with a hot start was enough to hold off Washington State for a 60-45 victory at home. Jackson had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists, including 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc, and Andre Joseph added 14 points and six rebounds. Oregon shot 55.6 percent from long range as a team (10-for-18) and held Washington State to 20 percent shooting. The 45 points given up was the lowest total since a 52-40 victory over USC in 1988.

Up Next: Thursday at Arizona State, Saturday at Arizona

Oregon State Beavers (8-7, 2-3)

Against one of the nation’s most stifling defenses, Jay John’s squad turned the tables in Corvallis. The Beavers held Washington State to 29 percent shooting and David Lucas scored a game-high 21 points in a 52-41 victory. A 14-1 run to close the first half put the Beavers up 29-16 and by the time the Cougars got any sort of offense going in the second half, the game was well in hand. Neither team was on from long range, as Washington State shot just 3-for-15 from beyond the arc and the Beavers an even more dreadful 1-for-14. Oregon State has won eight of the past 10 meetings between the two schools.

The Beavers let a 10-point lead slip away in the final five minutes of regulation and ultimately lost in overtime to Washington 103-99. Oregon State led by four with 5.5 seconds to play before Washington’s Tre Simmons knocked down a three-pointer. After two made free throws, the Huskies’ Nate Robinson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to force the extra period. Lucas finished with 20 points and Angelo Tsagarakis drilled 5-of-10 three-pointers en route to 18 points. The Beavers led by as many as 16 in the second half.

Up Next: Thursday at Arizona, Saturday at Arizona State

No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (14-0, 5-0)

A stifling defense paved the way to an 11th straight home win over Bay Area-rival Cal on Saturday night, as the Cardinal held the Bears to percent shooting in a 68-61 win. Stanford led 24-17 at the half and led by double-digits for most of the second half before a late Cal run made things more interesting late. Matt Lottich scored a team-high 15 points and Justin Davis added 13 points and seven rebounds. Josh Childress tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the junior swingman was just 2-for-6 from the field. The Cardinal’s big men held Cal’s hottest offensive player of late, freshman Marquise Kately, to just seven points.

Up Next: Thursday vs. UCLA, Saturday vs. USC

UCLA Bruins (9-4, 5-1)

The Bruins shut down Arizona State’s premiere player and ultimately shut down the Sun Devils in a 66-58 victory at Pauley Pavilion. T.J. Cummings led UCLA with 21 points and 12 rebounds, as the Bruins won the rebounding battle 32-27. Dijon Thompson added 19 points and freshman Trevor Ariza poured in 16 for UCLA, which opened the Pac-10 season 5-0 for the first time in nine years.

Looking to stay perfect in conference, the Bruins fell behind early at home and went on to lose 97-72 to Arizona on Saturday. Cummings had 12 points but only two rebounds as UCLA was outhustled throughout the game and dominated on the glass. Thomspon and Ariza combined for 37 points but the Bruins defense had no answer for Channing Frye on the inside. When Frye wasn’t pounding away for two of his game-high 26 points, Arizona’s athletic guards were wreaking havoc from the perimeter or on the fast break. The Bruins shot just 8-for-24 from long range while Arizona drained 14-for-23.

Up Next: Thursday at Stanford, Saturday at Cal

USC Trojans (8-7, 3-3)

The nets at the L.A. Sports Arena are still cooling from Desmon Farmer’s performance Thursday night. The senior guard scored a career-high 40 points on only 19 shots, as USC upset Arizona 99-90. Farmer led five Trojans in double figures and drilled 7-of-11 three-point attempts. Errick and Derrick Craven added 16 and 12 points, respectively. Jeff McMillan was effective in the post, tallying 10 points and six rebounds despite being hampered by foul trouble. Farmer’s 40 points were the highest individual point total in the Pac-10 this season and the most by a USC player since Harold Miner scored 43 in 1991. The Trojans dominated the glass 42-26 en route to their fifth victory in eight games over the Wildcats at home.

USC suffered a letdown two days later against Arizona State, letting a 14-point lead slip away against Arizona State in a 100-85 loss. Farmer seemed to have picked up right where he left off in the first half against the Sun Devils, scoring 18 points to lead the Trojans to a 48-45 halftime lead. After the break, Farmer was held to just eight points and USC shot just 31 percent from the field.

Up Next: Thursday at Cal, Saturday at Stanford

Washington Huskies (6-8, 1-5)

The Huskies fell to 0-5 in conference play following an 84-74 loss to Oregon at McArthur Court. Washington trailed by seven at halftime and did little to make things interesting after the break. Brandon Roy scored a team-high 18 points, while Nate Robinson and Will Conroy added 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Trailing by 16 points in the second half at Oregon State, the Huskies could’ve easily packed it in and headed back to Seattle with an 0-6 mark in conference play. Instead, Nate Robinson’s buzzer-beating three-pointer capped a dramatic comeback to send the game into overtime, where Lorenzo Romar’s squad pulled out a 103-99 victory. The Huskies had five players in double figures, led by Robinson’s 25 points. Conroy added 19 points and Roy chipped in with 17. Washington shot 50 percent for the game, including 5-for-6 in overtime.

Up Next: Saturday at Washington State

Washington State Cougars (8-8, 2-4)

A season-low 29 percent shooting performance, including 3-for-15 from beyond the arc, doomed the Cougars in a 52-41 loss to Oregon State in Corvallis. Marcus Moore, the Cougars’ leading scorer, suffered through a 2-for-13 night and Thomas Kelati was 0-for-9, as no Washington State player finished in double-figures.

The offensive woes continued for Dick Bennett’s squad at Oregon, as the Cougars fell 60-45 despite holding the Ducks to their lowest point total of the season and just one field goal in the final 10:52 of the game. Shami Gill finished with seven points and 13 rebounds for the Cougars. Washington State trailed 35-18 at halftime and were outrebounded 34-32. Moore was held to single-digits for the second consecutive game, finishing with five points on 2-for-9 shooting.

Up Next: Saturday vs. Washington


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