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KEVIN KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore Salim Stoudamire releases one of his nine three-point attempts against Kansas. Stoudamire connected on six from long range and scored a career high 32 points in Arizona's win on Saturday.
By Maxx Wolfson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday January 27, 2003

What a change of fortune for Salim Stoudamire.

Just a game after being benched for the last 14 minutes of the Arizona State game, the sophomore shooting guard scored a career-high 32 points as the No. 1 Wildcats outscored No. 6 Kansas by 30 points in the second half en route to a 91-74 win Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

"I think we proved to the world that we're the number one team," said Stoudamire, who was 12 for 18 shooting and 6-of-9 from behind the arc. "This is a measuring stick, and now we know where we stand."

Without Stoudamire Saturday there is no telling where the Wildcats (15-1, 7-0) might have been, but definitely not winning their 10th straight game.

"If (Stoudamire) didn't hit those shots today, it would have been a different game," UA head coach Lute Olson said.
KEVIN KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Jason Gardner and the Wildcats came back from 20 down to hand No. 6 Kansas its first non-conference home loss since 1998.

As UA was getting embarrassed down 44-24 with 5:37 left in the first half the left-hander kept the game within reach with solid perimeter shooting, as Arizona chipped away and went into the locker room down 13 at the break.

Arizona struggled early on both sides of the floor as it committed 12 first-half turnovers and allowed the Jayhawks (13-5) to shoot a scorching 65 percent in the first half.

"The number one team was not on the court in the first half, or Kansas was the number one team," Olson said.

But the one advantage the Wildcats have had all year against all their opponents proved to be the difference once again depth.

As Kansas was wearing down, it seemed Arizona was just getting going, as it opened up the second half with a 10-0 run while KU went 0-of-4 with five turnovers and three fouls in that span, quieting the 16,300 fans watching inside the historic arena.

Game Review

Photo Player of the Game:
Salim Stoudamire: Defense, defense, defense. Yes, the sophomore from Oregon scored a career-high 32 points but his defense on the top of the 1-3-1 zone, was nearly flawless in the second half. He was the big reason Kirk Hinrich was 2 of 10 from behind the arc in the second half.

Play of the Game:
Stoudamire hit a 3-pointer with more than 15 minutes left in the second half to give the Wildcats a 54-53 lead, their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Stat of the Game:
While the game was so one-sided in both halves, the biggest difference was the Wildcat 20-point deficit that they were able to overcome. The 17-point win, Stoudamire's 32 points and the 30-point second half advantage each come in a close second.

"In the second half we kind of relaxed a bit more, and didn't really worry about it," said UA senior point guard Jason Gardner, who scored 23 points and played all 40 minutes. "(Our depth) really wears other teams down. I think it really took away their jump shot."

After struggling with its man-on-man defense in the first half, Olson used a 1-3-1 zone, a defensive set the Wildcats have rarely used, but have resorted to of late. The zone forced the Jayhawks to take outside shots, as they were unable to get the ball inside to either of their big men Nick Collison or Jeff Graves as they did in the first half.

Kansas shot only 29 percent in the second half, with the team's best shooter, Kirk Hinrich, missing two of 10 3-pointers.

The key to the added defensive pressure by UA was Stoudamire's rotation at the top of the zone. KU sophomore guard Keith Langford, who scored 22 first-half points, was held to just five in the second half.

"Our depth is certainly key, and it's been key all year long," Olson said.

This was the most lopsided Kansas home loss in 14 years, and it ended a 25-game home winning streak in Allen Fieldhouse.

"We could be pretty good if we played 40 minutes instead of 20," Olson said.

Game notes

The game officials were all from the Pac-10, and Dick Cartmell also refereed the UA win against ASU

Senior Rick Anderson played one of his best games as a Wildcat, scoring 15 points (seven of 10 from the field) and grabbing seven boards

UA's erasure of a 20-point first-half deficit equaled the second-biggest comeback win in the Lute Olson era

Gardner was 10 for 12 from the free-throw line

The Wildcats out-rebounded KU 38-28

The win was the first-ever regular season win for Arizona against Kansas.

Kevin Klaus contributed to this report


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