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Stanford Downs Arizona, 87-76
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/09/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Stanford desperately needed to save face. Oh, what a time to do it.

Dan Grunfeld scored six straight points during a decisive second-half run and finished with a career-high 29, and Stanford snapped No. 13 Arizona's nine-game winning streak with an 87-76 victory Saturday.

Chris Hernandez, the Cardinal's starting point guard, returned to the lineup after missing Thursday night's game against Arizona State with back spasms. He scored 23 in his team's best showing yet under first-year coach Trent Johnson.

Hernandez got cleared to play only an hour and a half before tipoff. Johnson was hesitant to use his star player, but gave in once doctors said it was OK.

``I didn't want to get in a fist fight with Chris right now,'' Johnson said before heading to the airport to go recruiting. ``He showed a lot of character. Chris is Chris.''

Rob Little had 16 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:07 left, helping the Cardinal (7-7, 1-3 Pac-10) avoid their worst start in Pac-10 play since losing their first six conference games in the 1983-84 season.

``We need all the confidence we can get,'' Little said. ``We'll take a win however we can get it. Right now we're 7-7. We've got a long way to go. This isn't a big party for us.''

Arizona (12-3, 2-1) played a sloppy game and never got in sync offensively against the inspired Cardinal, who used a thrilling 80-77 victory over the Wildcats here last year on Nick Robinson's 35-footer at the buzzer to help propel them to the No. 1 ranking _ a win that caused even Tiger Woods to run onto the court to celebrate.

The two wins were very different.

``Last year's win against Arizona was one of those games like when you're a little kid and hit a game-winning shot,'' Hernandez said. ``This was more serious. We needed this win. ... I think it's a matter of luck finally coming our way.''

Channing Frye had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Hassan Adams added 19 points and 10 boards for cold-shooting Arizona, which had averaged 90.4 points over its previous five games. Salim Stoudamire added 14 points for the Wildcats, who shot 38.4 percent.

Stanford beat Arizona for the third straight time and came out inspired in front of a sellout crowd at renovated Maples Pavilion. Grunfeld went 10-of-12, making all three of his 3-point tries. Hernandez was 3-for-5 from long range.

``We didn't play any defense today and we didn't play together as far as offensively making the extra pass,'' Stoudamire said. ``We know we'll be around. It's up to us to correct that.''

Arizona missed its first five shots of the second half and Stanford came out with an 8-2 spurt, taking a 47-38 lead on Hernandez's 3-pointer at 17:20. When Little scored and was fouled with 13:30 left for a three-point play, Arizona coach Lute Olson threw his arm in the air in frustration. Little's basket started a 14-2 run, and Grunfeld scored the next three times down the floor to make it 60-47 with 11:04 left.

Stoudamire pulled Arizona within 77-71 on two free throws with 1:39 left, then Hernandez took the ball the length of the court for a layin.

Stanford shot 58.2 percent, making 6-of-10 3-pointers.

``Anytime a team shoots 58 percent from the field, 60 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the line, you're in trouble any way you look at it,'' Olson said. ``They played as well as they could play. We need to make shots. We did a bad job handling penetration and did a horrible job inside other than Channing.''

The Wildcats went away from their stingy full-court press until late, and wound up fouling Stanford in the backcourt more times than not. Hernandez and backup Jason Haas were on the floor at the same time for much of the game to handle Arizona's talented guards.

Hernandez hit a 3-pointer at the 10-minute mark of the first half that put the Cardinal ahead 22-19 and Stanford drew a goaltending call against Adams the next time down the floor. Grunfeld's 3 at 8:07 capped a 12-2 run.

Stanford made 13 of its first 21 shots _ including 4 of 7 3s _ while Arizona began 8-for-21. The Cardinal shot 58.6 percent on the way to a 39-36 halftime lead, but didn't go to the free-throw line and committed three straight careless turnovers late in the half that allowed Arizona to come back.

It marked the first time Arizona had trailed at the half in eight games, with Stanford's shooting being the highest against the Wildcats in an opening half all season.

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