Jan 30, 2003
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. - McKale Center is an awful place for visiting teams, except for the Stanford Cardinal.
Matt Lottich scored 23 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 58 seconds to play, to lift Stanford to an 82-77 upset of No. 1 Arizona on Thursday night.
Stanford beat a No. 1 team for just the third time in the school's history and the first time on the road. But wins at McKale Center are nothing new for coach Mike Montgomery's squad.
The Cardinal (15-5, 6-2 Pac-10) won at Arizona for the third year in a row.
"It was a great win considering we didn't even play our best," Montgomery said.
When it was over, there was no wild celebration. The Stanford players patted each other on the back, shook hands and walked away.
"I think we let up. I think we came in here not mentally ready. We still have to understand we need to put two halves together. I think eventually we will get there."
"We've beat ranked teams before. They just happened to be No. 1," Stanford's Nick Robinson said. "The fact that we'd beaten them here the two times previous, we had a lot of confidence."
Despite the loss, Arizona (15-2, 7-1) remained tied with California for first in the Pac-10. No. 20 Cal lost at Arizona State 75-70 Thursday night. The Bears play at Arizona on Saturday.
Julius Barnes, who had 14 points and 10 assists but shot just 4-for-21, sank both free throws in a one-and-one situation with 8.5 seconds to play to seal the victory.
Lottich made 5-of-8 3-pointers.
"Julius helped me get some great shots," Lottich said. "They were sucking down on him, so he was kicking the ball out to me. I got some great looks because of that."
"We can't make the number of mistakes we made with the ball and we can't miss 12 of 26 free throws," Arizona coach Lute Olson said.
The Wildcats committed 19 turnovers, five by Gardner, and were 14-for-26 at the foul line.
Salim Stoudamire, who scored 34 in Arizona's victory at Kansas last Saturday, played just 17 minutes because of foul trouble and had three points on 1-for-5 shooting.
Rob Little scored 13 for Stanford, including two big baskets down the stretch. Robinson added 10 points.
Arizona trailed 59-45 with 11:34 to play, but seemed headed for another trademark comeback after a 20-3 outburst.
Freshman Andre Iguodala's 3-pointer with eight minutes left put the Wildcats up 63-62, then Gardner capped the surge with a driving layup to put the Wildcats ahead 65-62 with 7:15 to go. It was Arizona's first lead since the game's opening 2˝ minutes.
But Stanford didn't fold despite the deafening noise of the home crowd.
Barnes tied it at 65 with a 3-pointer, then Lottich's 3 put the Cardinal ahead 68-67 with 5:51 to play.
Little scored inside on consecutive Stanford possessions, then made one of two free throws and Stanford led 75-71 with 3:10 to play. Baskets by Walton and Gardner tied it at 75. Gardner was fouled on his basket, but missed the free throw.
Robinson's driving layup put Stanford ahead for good 77-75 with 1:42 to go. Gardner's 3-point try was off the mark, then Lottich sank a 3-pointer to put the Cardinal ahead 80-75 with 58 seconds to play. Rick Anderson's rebound basket cut the lead to 80-77 with 43 seconds to play.
Lottich missed the first of a one-and-one with 23 seconds to play to give Arizona a chance to tie it, but the Wildcats couldn't convert.
"I thought Stanford did a great job of maintaining their composure, even with the crowd into the game like that," Olson said.
The Wildcats trailed by 20 in the first half at Kansas last Saturday, then rallied to win by 17.
"I think we let up. I think we came in here not mentally ready," Gardner said. "We still have to understand we need to put two halves together. I think eventually we will get there."
Earlier in the day, Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood issued a statement regarding allegations that some members of the Wildcats team stole candy and change from a vending machine at a motel in Lawrence, Kan., last weekend. The only player identified by a witness was Walton, and he denied having anything to do with the theft, as did the other Arizona players.
An assistant coach repaid the motel $80 and no charges were filed.
"We have investigated the situation and have taken action in accordance with NCAA and university policy, rules and regulations," Livengood said.
He did not say what the action was and said there would be no further comment on the issue.
Walton was so miffed about the situation that he refused to talk to reporters after the game.