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Pac-10 Notebook

February 25, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments



Pac-10 Conference Notebook

by Scott Allen

Six-Pac:

Thursday: No. 1 Stanford 76, USC 67

For a second consecutive game, the Cardinal trailed at the half. For the 22nd consecutive game, Stanford won, clinching at least share of the Pac-10 title in the process. Junior swingman Josh Childress scored a career-high 36 points to help the Cardinal overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and a rare poor shooting performance by his teammates. Stanford opened up an 11-point lead in the second half, but USC tied it up with just over five minutes to play. Matt Lottich, the only other Cardinal in double figures (20 points), responded with one of his four 3-pointers and the Trojans went cold down the stretch to end any chances of an upset.

Thursday: No. 13 Arizona 100, Oregon 87

In a game that was supposed to mean more to the Ducks, the Wildcats made a statement with a comfortable victory that likely dashed Oregon’s NCAA chances. Oregon native Salim Stoudamire, heckled throughout by The Pit Crew, responded by hitting six of eight 3-pointers en route to a career-high 37 points. Stoudamire’s record night, coupled with Arizona’s win, outshined Oregon’s Luke Jackson’s career-high 42 points (the most ever by an Oregon player at home) on 14-for-21 shooting. The Wildcats have now won in back-to-back years at McArthur Court, where the Ducks have won 37 of 41 overall. Hassan Adams added 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats, which jumped out to an early 17-5 lead and never looked back. Freshman guard Aaron Brooks returned to the lineup for Oregon for the first time since fracturing his wrist in January.

Thursday: UCLA 66, Cal 49

Cal, as desperately in need of a win as Oregon, suffered an equally frustrating defeat at Pauley Pavilion. The Bears fell behind 30-14 at halftime after scoring just two points in the final 10:31 of the first half. T.J. Cummings scored 19 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Bruins, which won for just the second time in their last 10 games. Dijon Thompson added 14 for UCLA, which held Cal’s Leon Powe to just 10 points.

Thursday: Washington 71, Washington State 67

The Huskies overcame a six-point deficit in the final minute to earn their first sweep against Washington State since 2000. Washington, winners of eight of its last nine, cut the Cougars lead to 67-66 with 45 seconds to play after Will Conroy nailed a 3-pointer and Bobby Jones converted a lay-up. After a Washington State turnover, Mike Jensen connected on the game-winning 3-pointer with 19.9 seconds to play. Washington State led by as many as eight points in the second half after trailing by four at the half.

Saturday: Arizona State 86, Oregon 75

Ike Diogu scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help Arizona State pull off the upset win in Eugene. Jamal Hill and Kevin Kruger combined for 35 points in the win and Serge Angounou scored a career-high 12 points for the Sun Devils. The loss was the Ducks’ third straight at home, the first such streak since the 2000-01 season. Luke Jackson had 16 points and 10 assists in defeat while James Davis led all Oregon scorers with 18 off of six 3-pointers. The Ducks shot 14-for-38 from long range for the game.

Saturday: Oregon State 90, No. 13 Arizona 84

Two days after winning what most would consider the more difficult game of the trip, the Wildcats suffered a letdown against Oregon State. David Lucas and Chris Stephens scored 22 points apiece for the Beavers, as Jay John’s squad matched Arizona’s high-scoring offense all night. Oregon State led by as many as 13 in the second half and ended a seven-game losing streak to the Wildcats, including a 109-75 setback earlier this year, with the win.

Around the Pac-10 (in order of conference standings):

No. 1 Stanford (23-0, 14-0)

Coming off its comeback win over USC, the Cardinal went on a 25-4 run to take a 19-point lead into halftime against UCLA on Saturday and went on to win 73-60. Stanford clinched its fourth Pac-10 title in the past six years with the victory and denied the Bruins a chance to knock off a No. 1 team for the fifth straight year. Two of UCLA’s previous four wins against the nation’s top-ranked team came against Stanford, in 2000 and 2001. Nick Robinson scored 15 points for the Cardinal, while Childress and Lottich added 14 apiece. Oregon, which came the closest to knocking Stanford from the ranks of the unbeaten when it blew a 19-point lead at home last month, comes to Maples on Thursday looking for revenge.

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

No. 13 Arizona (17-7, 9-6)

The Wildcats were involved in two of the weekend’s top six games, but as has been the case throughout the conference season, both were not wins. After dashing the Ducks’ tournament hopes at McArthur Court on Thursday night, Arizona came out flat two nights later against Oregon State and lost to the Beavers 90-84.

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

Washington (13-10, 8-6)

In a rare late season non-conference tilt, the Huskies traveled to the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., where N.C. State had not lost all season and had knocked off No. 2 Duke one week earlier. Washington represented the Pac-10 well and had a chance to win in the final seconds but the Huskies could not hold on and lost a heartbreaker 77-72. While the Huskies didn’t pick up the ‘W,’ the game demonstrated just how far head coach Lorenzo Romar’s squad has come this season after an 0-5 record to start the conference season. The Huskies led by as many as eight in the second half and had a chance to win with 19 seconds left, but Brandon Roy’s jumper rimmed out. Bobby Jones led Washington with 22 points and Nate Robinson added 13.

Oregon (12-9, 7-7)

Like Arizona, both of Oregon’s game last weekend are featured in the Six-Pac but head coach Ernie Kent would like to forget about both games, especially the 86-75 loss to last-place Arizona State, which burst the Ducks’ bubble for an at-large bid. Oregon can begin to gather momentum for the Pac-10 tournament this weekend by playing spoiler to a perfect season at Stanford and then traveling to Berkeley for a match-up with fellow former bubble-mate Cal.

Up Next: Thursday at No. 1 Stanford, Saturday at Cal

California (11-12, 7-7)

The Bears’ tournament hopes went by the wayside after the L.A. schools swept Ben Braun’s squad last weekend. Two days after their 66-49 debacle at Pauley, the Bears hung with USC for most of the game but a four-minute scoring drought late in the second half was the difference in a 70-60 loss. Amit Tamir scored 20 points in defeat, Cal’s third straight. Barring a Pac-10 tournament championship, the Bears turn their attention to finishing above .500 in order to receive an NIT bid come March.

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

UCLA (11-12, 7-8)

After shutting down Cal in a 66-49 victory on Thursday, the Bruins looked to knockoff No. 1 Stanford on Saturday. Trailing the Cardinal by 19 at the half, UCLA used an 8-0 run after the break to pull within seven, but Ben Howland’s squad would get no closer in a 73-60 loss. The Bruins have lost nine of their last 11. Dijon Thompson scored 17 points in defeat and T.J. Cummings added 11. After looking to earn a season split with rival USC on Wednesday, the Bruins welcome the Fighting Irish to Pauley Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next: Wednesday at USC, Saturday vs. Notre Dame

USC (11-13, 6-9)

The Trojans rebounded from a loss to No. 1 Stanford with a 70-60 win over Cal behind the scoring of an unlikely source, freshman Lodrick Stewart. Stewart’s career night made up for the sub-par performance from Desmon Farmer, who moved into fourth place on the all-time USC scoring list with eight points. Rory O’Neill had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for the Trojans, which holds a half-game lead over Washington State for the eighth and final berth in the conference tournament.

Up Next: Wednesday vs. UCLA

Oregon State (11-13, 5-9)

The Beavers raced out to an early lead and held on at home for the 68-61 victory. The Sun Devils battled back from a 15-point halftime deficit but the Beavers, which knocked down just 21-of-31 free throws in the game, hit 13-of-14 down the stretch to seal the win. David Lucas, who would score 22 points and pull down nine boards in Oregon State’s upset of Arizona two days later, led the Beavers with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Up Next: Thursday at Cal, Saturday at No. 1 Stanford

Washington State (11-13, 5-9)

After dropping a heartbreaker to Washington, the Cougars try to solidify a spot in the Pac-10 tournament field with a crucial game at Arizona State on Thursday before trying to slow down the Arizona offense for a second time this season on Saturday.

Up Next: Thursday at Arizona State, Saturday at Arizona

Arizona State (10-14, 4-10)

The Sun Devils shot 19 percent in the first half and trailed 28-13 at the break against Oregon State on Thursday and the deficit was too much to overcome in a 68-61 loss. Kevin Kruger, who got the starting nod for the first time this year from head coach Rob Evans, scored all 20 of his points in the second half to bring Arizona State back, but Oregon State hit its free throws down the stretch

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

     

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