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Pac-10 Notebook

January 30, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments



Pac-10 Conference Notebook

by Scott Allen

Stanford got a scare, but the Cardinal remained perfect. Arizona appears to be back on track after a midseason hiccup and Cal did something it hasn’t done all season. Both SoCal schools ride losing streaks into tonight’s L.A. showdown at Pauley Pavilion, while Oregon, coming off a split against the Arizona schools, readies for Stanford. Meanwhile, Arizona State, Oregon State and the Washington schools continue to toil in mediocrity. All that and more is in this, the final January installment of the Pac-10 Notebook.

In Memory of Alisa Lewis

The Cal men’s basketball team wore small black patches on the front of their uniforms with “AL 31” in memory of Cal women’s basketball player Alisa Lewis, who died last Monday from bacterial meningitis. Lewis was honored last Thursday in a memorial service at Haas Pavilion. “Alisa’s mother told me that there’s a basketball court in heaven and Alisa is on it,” said Cal women’s basketball head coach Caren Horstmeyer. “This is where Alisa lived and where she wanted to be.” Lewis, remembered for her great smile and work ethic, was 20.

Wooden Watch

Four Pac-10 players are on the Wooden Award Midseason Top-30 list. Arizona State’s Ike Diogu, Arizona’s Andre Iguodala, Oregon’s Luke Jackson and Stanford’s Matt Lottich.

Player of the Week

Leon Powe, F, California

The freshman helped the Bears to back-to-back wins for the first time this season, averaging 16.5 points and 11 rebounds in wins over USC and UCLA. The Oakland native tallied his league-leading eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds against UCLA.

Inside the Pac-10

No. 9 Arizona Wildcats (13-3, 5-2)

The Wildcats extended their home dominance over Oregon State to 21 years and the Wildcat offense exhibited what it’s capable of on a good night in a 109-75 victory. Salim Stoudamire and Hassan Adams scored 20 points apiece and Andre Iguodala scored 19 points. Adams and Iguodala were both 9-for-12 from the field and Stoudamire 7-for-9, as Arizona shot a season-high 63 percent from the field. It was their largest point output since Feb. 5, 1998. Adams pulled down 10 rebounds for the double-double and Chris Rodgers added 12 points off the bench. Arizona led 48-34 at the half thanks to a 20-4 spurt late in the first half and hit six of its first seven shots after the break. From there, the rout was on.

Arizona offensive outburst Thursday carried over into Saturday’s match-up with Oregon. The ‘Cats jumped out to a 52-27 halftime lead behind 15 first-half points from Ivan Radenovic. Oregon made things more interesting with a 13-4 run midway through the second half, but Arizona’s shooters more than kept pace, shooting 50 percent after the break. Adams had another 20-point game and Channing Frye tallied a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Arizona’s defense forced 19 turnovers and held the Ducks’ Pac-10 leading three-point attack to 5-for-19 shooting from beyond the arc.

Up Next: Thursday at Washington, Saturday at Washington State

Arizona State Sun Devils (8-8, 2-5)

An inspired comeback fell short against Oregon but Arizona State rebounded to post its second conference win with a hard-fought victory over Oregon State. The Sun Devils fell behind early against the Ducks, as Ike Diogu was held scoreless for the game’s first 13 minutes. Arizona State completely erased a 13-point first half deficit to take a 60-56 lead midway through the second half following Stevie Moore’s four-point play. The Ducks responded with clutch three-point shooting and sank their free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Diogu finished with 24 points and nine rebounds while Moore finished with 17 points. Jason Braxton had one of his best all-around games of the season, adding 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

For a brief stage of the second half, it appeared the Sun Devils were on their way to their first ever six-game home losing streak at Wells Fargo Arena. Enter Ike Diogu, who scored 10 of the team’s final 16 points in an 83-79 win against the Beavers. Diogu finished the game with 24 points and 15 rebounds, shooting 16-for-22 from the free throw line. Braxton had yet another strong game, finishing with 12 points and six assists and Jamal Hill poured in 17 points off the bench.

Up Next: Thursday at Washington State, Saturday at Washington

California Bears (8-8, 4-3)

The Bears rode the hot shooting – and temper – of guard Richard Midgley to a 63-62 home win against Southern Cal last Thursday. Midgley scored a season-high 22 points, added five assists and tussled with USC’s Errick Craven late in the second half at Haas Pavilion after Craven kicked him while fighting for a loose ball. Cal led 55-52 at the time but would relinquish that lead for the first time in the second half with 36 seconds to play, as Derrick Craven scored off an inbounds pass. Interestingly, the difference in the game came at the free throw line, where the Bears shot just 8-for-14 on the night. Freshman Ayinde Ubaka sank a pair in the closing seconds, however, to give Cal the win. Leon Powe’s 14 points and nine boards complemented Midgley’s career-night.

When the final second ticked off the scoreboard in Cal’s 76-62 victory on Saturday, the Bears had accomplished something they hadn’t done all season: win two consecutive games. A perfect blend of experience (Amit Tamir’s 19 points) and youth (Leon Powe’s 19 points and 14 rebounds) paved the way for the win in front of the first sellout crowd at Haas Pavilion this season. The double-double was Powe’s eighth of the season. Four of his rebounds were offensive, including a couple down the stretch where he flew into the lane for second chance opportunities when the Bruins most needed a defensive stop. UCLA led 31-30 at the half.

Up Next: Thursday at Oregon, Saturday at Oregon State

Oregon Ducks (9-5, 4-3)

Luke Jackson helped build the lead and Ian Crosswhite helped seal the win, as Oregon downed Arizona State 83-76 in Tempe last Thursday. Jacksons scored 21 points, pulled down seven boards and dished out a career-high 12 assists as the Ducks opened a 13-point first half lead. With Arizona State rallying, Crosswhite scored nine of his 15 points in the last five minutes. Oregon’s long-range bombers caught fire in the second half, shooting 5-for-8 from beyond the arc after shooting just 2-for-12 from three-point land in the first half.

Poor three-point shooting and weak defense doomed the Ducks two days later against Arizona. Oregon trailed 52-27 at the half and finished just 5-for-19 from long range. Jackson had yet another strong all-around game, finishing with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Crosswhite scored 11 and Mitch Platt added 10. Nineteen Oregon turnovers turned into easy transition buckets for Arizona in a game that was essentially over at the half. Jackson recently became the fourth player in Pac-10 history with 1,500 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists. The others: Sean Elliot, Todd Lichti and Toby Bailey.

Up Next: Thursday vs. Cal, Saturday vs. Stanford

Oregon State Beavers (8-9, 2-5)

It doesn’t take a zoologist to tell you that beavers won’t last long in a desert. The basketball Beavers don’t either. For the 21st consecutive season, Oregon State lost at the McKale Center, 109-75. Arizona did just about whatever it wanted against the Beavers defense but Chris Stephens scored 16 points and J.S. Nash added 15 points and seven assists in defeat. Jim Hanchett recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Oregon State kept things close in the first half and led 27-26 with 6:37 to go, but the Wildcats broke things open with a 20-4 run and the halftime break did little to break Arizona’s offensive rhythm.

David Lucas scored a career-high 27 points, but it was all for naught in Oregon State’s 83-79 loss at Arizona State on Saturday. The Beavers rallied from a nine-point deficit to take a four-point lead with under five minutes to play, but Oregon State’s big men had no answer for Ike Diogu down the stretch. Diogu finished with 24 points after being held scoreless for the first 13 minutes of the game. Stephens and Nash combined for 21 points in defeat.

Up Next: Thursday vs. Stanford, Saturday vs. Cal

No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (16-0, 7-0)

The Cardinal hosted the SoCal schools last weekend, dispatching of UCLA rather easily before prevailing in one of their tougher tests of the season against USC. In Friday’s 67-52 victory over the Bruins, the Cardinal raced out to a 42-21 halftime lead, limiting Ben Howland’s squad to 36 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Junior All-American Josh Childress was in the starting lineup for the first time this season, but it was senior Justin Davis who made the most offensive impact. Davis went 10-for-11 from the field, finishing with a game-high 21 points and five rebounds. Childress was solid as well, contributing 14 points, six rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes. Stanford’s leading scorer Matt Lottich struggled to find his touch but managed 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

In a physical match-up two nights later, Stanford found itself in the rare position of coming from behind, erasing a six-point USC halftime lead to win 77-67. One of the unsung heroes for Stanford was senior Nick Robinson, who scored all of his career-high-tying 13 points in the second half. Robinson was one of four Cardinal players in double figures, led by Chris Hernandez’s 18, including a bank three-pointer with the shot clock expiring that shifted the momentum of the game in the second half. Hernandez also had seven assists and five rebounds. Childress had 11 points and seven boards.

Up Next: Thursday at Oregon State, Saturday at Oregon

UCLA Bruins (9-6, 5-3)

Coming off their first Pac-10 loss of the season against Arizona, the Bruins failed to get back into the win column last weekend, dropping a pair at No. 1 Stanford and California. UCLA hung with the Cardinal for the first seven minutes of Friday’s game before going into a scoring drought as Stanford took control. Trailing by 21 at the break, the Bruins went on an 8-0 run early in the second half to cut the Cardinal lead to 48-35, but would get no closer until it was 62-50 with 3:39 left. Dijon Thompson had 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting in defeat but no other player finished in double figures. Freshman Trevor Ariza had the most disappointing performance of all, scoring just two points on 1-for-7 shooting.

UCLA’s struggles continued Saturday at Cal, where they found themselves playing from behind in the first half again. While the Bruins took a 31-30 lead into the break, Cal freshman Leon Powe got hot in the second half, scoring 12 of his 19 points, and UCLA could not hit shots or make defensive stops down the stretch. Thompson led all Bruins scorers with 17 points while T.J. Cummings added 12 and Ariza 11.

Up Next: Wednesday vs. USC

USC Trojans (8-9, 3-5)

USC put up a valiant effort in both of its Bay Area battles last weekend, but headed home with a pair of losses to No. 1 Stanford and Cal. The Trojans fell to the Bears on the road for the 11th time in 12 games, losing a late lead in a 63-62 loss at Haas Pavilion. Desmon Farmer scored a team-high 17 points and Jeff McMillan added 11, but USC had no answer for an old foe, Richard Midgley. Midgley had a career-high 23 points last season against the Trojans and scored a season-high 22 points in Thursday’s win. USC shot an atrocious 7-for-18 from the free throw line, arguably the difference in the game.

USC hung tough with No. 1 Stanford on Saturday before succumbing in the second half, 67-57. Farmer, seemingly unfazed by Stanford’s Sixth Man Club, which began hounding the eccentric scorer more than an hour before tip-off and throughout the game, scored 13 first half points in guiding the Trojans to the lead. The lead was six at the half and marked just the second time this season a Stanford opponent was ahead going into the break. USC led 47-46 with 10:51 to play before Chris Hernandez drained a three-pointer for the Cardinal to start a 10-1 run. The Trojans have not won at Maples Pavilion since 1992.

Up Next: Wednesday at UCLA

Washington Huskies (7-8, 2-5)

Nate Robinson was feeling it from long range and the Huskies were feeling their second straight conference win, 75-62 over rival Washington State. Robinson led all scorers with 17 points on the road and Will Conroy (14 points) and Tre Simmons (10 points) also finished in double figures. The Huskies, who led throughout after breaking a 2-2 tie, shot 63 percent as a team in the first 20 minutes and led 37-23 at the half. Washington out-rebounded the Cougars 32-24 and shot 9-for-17 from long range.

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

Washington State Cougars (8-9, 2-5)

Dick Bennett’s squad sank below .500 for the first time this season following a 75-62 loss to Washington last week. The Cougars’ normally stifling defense allowed the Huskies to shoot 53 percent from the field in Washington State’s third consecutive loss. Jeff Varem had 14 points in defeat and Marcus Moore poured in 11. Thomas Kelati shot 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 13 points for the Cougars.

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

     

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