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Pac-10 Quarterfinals Recap

March 13, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Pac-10 Conference Quarterfinals Recap

Recap by Scott Allen

(1) Stanford 68, (8) Washington State 47
The Cardinal got back on the winning track and got one of its key big men back in the process. Less than a week after suffering its first loss in the final game of the regular season, Stanford’s defense smothered the Cougars to the tune of 26.7 percent shooting and took early control of Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup with a 22-5 run to open the game. Stanford senior center Justin Davis returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring his right knee at Oregon State on January 29. Davis knocked down both of his field goal attempts and finished the game with seven points and four rebounds in just 14 minutes of action.

Josh Childress led the Cardinal with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Moore scored 17 points in defeat. Washington State’s second leading scorer, Thomas Kelati, was held to just three points on 1-for-5 shooting from long range. Stanford shot 56.5 percent and outrebounded the Cougars by 12. Chris Hernandez was the only other Stanford player in double-figures, drilling all four of his attempts, including two from long distance, to finish with 11 points. Washington State finishes their first season under head coach Dick Bennett 13-16, a six-win improvement over last season and as many wins as the program produced the last two seasons combined. Stanford advances to the semifinals to face Oregon.

(5) Oregon 87, (4) California 82
Cal freshman Leon Powe was his usual self and senior Amit Tamir was unusually dazzling, but the Bears’ duo could not overcome Oregon’s triple threat of Luke Jackson, Andre Joseph and James Davis, all of whom finished with 19 points in a thrilling quarterfinal victory. Powe had 20 points and nine rebounds and Tamir, playing in the final game of his collegiate career, scored 24 points on 4-for-6 shooting from deep and grabbed five boards. As a team, Cal finished an impressive 6-for-13 from long range, but the Ducks, the conference’s most prolific three-point shooting team, drained 13-of-26 attempts.

The Bears held a 76-75 advantage with three minutes remaining before Oregon went on a 12-6 run to close the game. Freshman point guard Aaron Brooks, who burned Cal for 16 points two weeks ago, scored five straight points as part of that game-clinching run. Jackson had 10 rebounds and six assists to go along with his 19 points to join Sean Elliot as the only two players in Pac-10 history with 1,800 points, 700 rebounds and 400 assists. The Ducks knocked down 20-of-24 free throws. Cal finishes the season 13-15 after losing six of its final eight games. Oregon, looking to defend its Pac-10 Tournament title, meets Stanford today in one of the semifinal matchups.

(2) Washington 91, (7) UCLA 83
Mirroring their respective Pac-10 seasons, the Bruins started fast and faded down the stretch while the Huskies finished with a flurry and ultimately a come-from-behind win. UCLA led by as many as 11 in the first half and by eight at three different points in the second half, but Washington closed with a 26-10 run to keep its NCAA hopes alive and avoid a third loss to the Bruins this season. Will Conroy led the Washington charge, scoring 18 of his 20 points after the break. Tre Simmons, who finished with 15 points, gave the Huskies a three-point lead with 1:30 to play with a three-point play the old fashioned way in transition.

Trevor Ariza and T.J. Cummings finished with 12 points apiece in defeat but it was Brian Morrison, a transfer from North Carolina out for most of the season with hamstring and ankle injuries, who led the UCLA upset bid. Morrison finished with a game-high 23 points and single-handedly kept the Bruins afloat down the stretch. He was the only Bruin to score during a six-minute stretch late in the game before fouling out in the final minute and UCLA trailing by two. Nate Robinson finished with 12 points, seven assists and a season-high five rebounds for the Huskies, which shot 52.6 percent in the game. Washington advances to the semifinals where Lorenzo Romar’s squad will look to knock Arizona off for a third time this year. Meanwhile, the book is closed on UCLA’s second consecutive losing season, the first time that’s happened in 62 years.

(3) Arizona 79, (6) USC 76
Mustafa Shakur capped an exciting day of basketball at the Staples Center with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from the top of the key to send the Trojans home and avoid another troubling loss in what has been a roller-coaster year for head coach Lute Olson and the Wildcats. Hassan Adams led Arizona with 21 points and 14 rebounds. For USC’s Desmon Farmer, the final game of his collegiate career was an absolute nightmare. Farmer scored four points on 2-for-20 shooting and missed all 12 of his three-point attempts.

Arizona, which led by as many as 13 in the first half, led by five with 2:38 to play before USC freshman Lodrick Stewart took over. Stewart, who scored a career-high 20 points, drilled a three-pointer to pull the Trojans to within two and then knocked down a long jumper from the right corner to tie the score at 76. After a defensive stop, the Trojans had the ball with a four second differential between the shot clock and the game clock and opted to use as much time as possible. USC failed to get an open look and Desmon Farmer was forced to fire a long three as the shot clock expired, which fell short and gave Arizona one last chance with 4.7 seconds left. Shakur took the inbounds pass and weaved into the frontcourt before stopping a foot behind the arc and lofting the game-winner over the arms of helpless USC defenders. USC, which defeated Stanford to advance to the semifinals the past two seasons, finishes this year 13-15. Arizona has won 20 games in 17 consecutive seasons and will face Washington today.

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