By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Saturday, March 5, 2005
Senior guard Salim Stoudamire hit the game-winning shot again for the No. 11 Wildcats in a 70-68 victory over ASU in Tempe tonight.
Arizona (25-5 overall, 15-3 Pacific 10 Conference) took the ball down the court with 45 seconds remaining in the game. A missed shot tipped around and eventually ended in the hands of Stoudamire with 25 seconds to go, and no shot clock to worry about. He dribbled at mid-court to run out most of the clock, drove to the basket, and swished a jump shot with six-tenths of a second remaining to win the game and clinch the Pac 10 title outright, the 11th in Arizona history.
Stanford defeated No. 10 Washington 77-67 in Palo Alto, so the Wildcats would have at least had a share in the conference title win or lose to ASU.
After Arizona opened the second half with a 21-7 run, ASU (18-12, 7-11) charged back with its own 17-2 run to take the lead at 61-60 with 4: 31 to go.
Stoudamire led the Wildcats with 25 points, scoring 18 of those in the first half. Sun Devil center/forward Ike Diogu scored a team-high 25 points, despite sitting out most of the second half with four fouls.
In the first half, Arizona opened the game with a 19-0 run to take a 22-4 lead, but ASU cut that lead to one by halftime, 37-36.
"ASU played great," Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. "We're the team that usually goes on the runs-and we did- but ASU answered with their runs of their own."
Tonight's victory was number 305 for Olson, surpassing former UCLA head coach John Wooden for the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history.
"Because of my relationship with Coach Wooden, It's really bittersweet," Olson said.