Nov 17, 2001
By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - Jason Gardner scored 28 points, including 14 in the final 11 minutes, to lead Arizona to an 88-74 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday night.
Arizona, unranked in the preseason poll for the first time since the 1995-96 season, has started this season with three straight victories over ranked teams.
Texas (0-1) got 15 points each from Brandon Mouton, Royal Ivey and Sydmill Harris. Freshman point guard T.J. Ford had 14 assists.
Arizona trailed 51-39 early in the second half before Luke Walton started a 14-0 Wildcats run with a pair of free throws. Salim Stoudamire tied it at 51 with a 3-pointer, Rick Anderson's short jumper put Arizona up by two and the Wildcats never trailed again.
Stoudamire finished with 19 points, and Anderson scored 14 and grabbed nine rebounds for Arizona. Gardner was 10-of-10 from the foul line for the Wildcats, who converted 26 of 31 free throws as a team.
Texas led 43-37 at halftime, thanks in large part to Ford's ability to penetrate and pass against Arizona's zone defense and the Longhorns' taking advantage of open shots. Texas hit eight 3-pointers in the first half.
Ford rolled his ankle midway through the second half and the Longhorns slowed down considerably. Without him directing the offense, Texas hit just two 3-pointers in the second half and shot just 28 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
The Longhorns also couldn't match Arizona's foul shooting. Texas was just 10-of-21 on free-throw attempts.
The game drew a Texas home-opening record crowd of 15,291 to the reconfigured Frank Erwin Center. New seating was designed to get Texas fans and students closer to the floor action and create a more intimidating environment.
The Longhorns enjoyed no such advantage however, as Arizona led for the final 14 minutes.