Feb 7, 2003
By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE - Arizona coach Lute Olson had no problem admitting it: The Wildcats got away with one.
Salim Stoudamire scored 25 points, including a big 3-pointer late in overtime, and Channing Frye had 24 points and 12 rebounds as No. 2 Arizona survived a scare to beat Washington 88-85 Thursday night.
"We were lucky," Olson said. "That's all you can say. We were flat-out lucky."
The Wildcats (17-2, 9-1 Pac-10) beat Washington (8-11, 3-7) for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings, but they had to sweat this one out in front of a capacity crowd of 10,028 raucous fans eager for an upset.
Bobby Jones hit two free throws to give Washington an 84-82 lead with 1:35 to play. After a timeout, Stoudamire swished a 3-pointer that put the Wildcats ahead 85-84 with 1:18 remaining.
"It was huge," Olson said. "Salim can really shoot it. They did a nice job on him tonight. We had to work to get him some shots."
Frye got free for a layup with 20 seconds to go, giving Arizona a seemingly safe 87-84 cushion. But the outcome wasn't settled until an insurance free throw in the closing seconds by Rick Anderson.
"This loss does not sit well, but it shows we can play against elite teams and it shows the potential we have," said Jones, who had 10 points and 11 rebounds. "Our confidence is very high."
Washington came in as the Pac-10's worst rebounding team while Arizona was the best. The Huskies outplayed Arizona, holding a 44-39 rebounding advantage that included 21 offensive boards. The Wildcats, though, had the leadership and seasoning to hold off the up-and-coming Huskies.
"I felt Washington played harder than we did," Olson said. "They competed harder. They played with a lot more enthusiasm than our guys did. They deserved to win the game.
"The only thing that saved us was a 3-pointer by Salim," he added.
Nate Robinson matched a career high with 19 points for Washington, while Curtis Allen scored 15 and Will Conroy added 11.
Luke Walton scored 13 points, becoming the 32nd Arizona player to score 1,000 points in his career.
After Stoudamire's big shot, the Huskies were down to the final chance. Robinson worked the backcourt looking for an open teammate before settling for a 3-point try from the top of the key that bounced off the rim.
"We got lucky," Stoudamire said. "Washington should have won that game. We've been doing this all year long. I just don't understand it."
Earlier, the 5-foot-8 Robinson hit a scoop shot in the lane over the 6-9 Anderson to tie it at 78, forcing overtime after the Huskies scored the final five points of regulation.
Robinson was less fortunate on his final attempt, but Jones collected the rebound, drew a foul and hit the first free throw to pull the Huskies to 87-85 with 1.1 seconds on the clock.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar called a timeout to consider his options.
Jones stepped back to the line intending to miss, but he put up an airball that gave possession back to the Wildcats.
"I can't say enough about the courage our guys showed," Romar said. "From Day 1 we have preached about giving effort."
Arizona's Jason Gardner had a frustrating night, missing six first-half shots and finishing with eight points on 2-of-12 shooting.
The last time the Huskies beat such a highly ranked opponent, Romar was playing the point for Washington. He was in the lineup when the Huskies upset No. 1 UCLA 69-68 on Feb. 22, 1979.
"If we play like this every week and continue to improve, we'll be getting the wins and eventually we'll be one of those ranked teams," Robinson said.
Washington led 41-39 at halftime, aided by 15 offensive rebounds and a 28-18 overall edge on the boards.
Walton broke a 71-71 tie with three minutes to play in regulation, drawing a fourth foul in the process on Washington's Doug Wrenn. After the whistle, Wrenn spiked the ball in frustration and received a technical foul, fouling out.
Stoudamire made both technical free throws, and Walton completed his three-point play to put Arizona ahead 76-71. That capped an 11-2 run by the Wildcats over a three-minute span.
"I know Arizona got five points from it," Romar said. "We have talked in practice about keeping your emotions under control during a game."