Feb 7, 2002
By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer
The two guards made pivotal 3-pointers and No. 11 Arizona survived poor free throw shooting and a career-high 35 points by Doug Wrenn to beat Washington 91-82 Thursday night.
Stoudamire had 14 of his 17 points in the second half, while Gardner scored 11 of his 13 in the final 20 minutes.
"This wasn't a great game for us, but we got it done," said Stoudamire, who missed four of five shots in the first half but made all four attempts in the second. "We've just got to move on."
Luke Walton led the Wildcats (16-6, 9-3 Pac-10) with 21 points, but had just four in the second half when the Huskies rallied from a 19-point deficit to get within seven in the final nine minutes.
Channing Frye came back from a mild ankle sprain to get 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Rick Anderson scored 11 points for Arizona. The Wildcats won their third straight and eighth in their last 10 by beating Washington for the 18th time in coach Lute Olson's 19 years overseeing the Arizona program.
David Dixon had 11 points for the Huskies (8-14, 2-10), who lost their third straight.
"We put together a great effort," Huskies coach Bob Bender said. "Our team knows that it isn't fun losing these games. We did manage to get the ball inside."
Wrenn, who had 32 points against Oregon on Jan. 24 and 34 against Washington State on Jan. 31, was 15-of-23 from the field in the biggest game for a Huskies player since Todd MacCulloch had 38 points on Dec. 7, 1996.
But the sophomore missed six of 11 free throws, including two with 1:42 to go when he was sitting on 33 points.
"I was a bum at the line," said Wrenn, who also had nine rebounds despite not starting because of a missed practice. "We were just shooting over and over. I guess the crowd rattled me or something. We wanted to win here, and we thought we could beat them."
Wrenn led Washington in scoring for the ninth consecutive game and his nine 20-plus games exceed last season's output by the team. But he didn't have anyone to balance the offense against the Wildcats.
"He was hitting big shots tonight, but I thought we did an all right job," Gardner said. "He hit the big shots, and we got the win."
Arizona, which is 11-0 when tied or leading at halftime, extended a nine-point lead to 64-45 with a 21-11 run over the first 5:56 of the second half.
Gardner, 0-for-6 in the first half, had a layup and 3-pointer, and Stoudamire also scored five points in the run, which Frye capped with a three-point play after inducing Dixon to commit his fourth foul.
Arizona then went more than five minutes without a field goal, and Wrenn scored nine straight points in a 2:56 span to bring the Huskies within 67-60 with 8:56 to play.
With 6:31 to go, Stoudamire nailed a 3-pointer to give Arizona a 74-61 lead, and Gardner had one 54 seconds later to make it 78-63.
The Wildcats were 14-for-28 from the free throw line in the second half, missing eight of nine in the minutes after Washington closed in, but managed to extend their lead with good defense.
"We cannot shoot 55 percent (19-of-34) from the line," Olson said. "We had several opportunities to put them away with our free throws, but we did not do it when we had the chance."