Stanford wins instant classic

After almost 40 minutes of battling it came down to a desperation heave. Stanford's Nick Robinson put up an off balance 35-foot runner with no time left on the clock to give Stanford an improbable 80-77 win.

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The Cardinal scored the game's final seven points after allowing the Wildcats to battle back and take a five-point lead after trailing for most of the game.

"The game was ours to take and to Stanford's credit, they took it," Lute Olson said after the game.

The Wildcats used a 21-4 run to erase a 12-point deficit. Stanford led 63-61 when Hassan Adams' three-pointer jump started the run. The Cats cranked up the defensive intensity, and that along with some good three-point shooting propelled the run. The Cats got two more threes, one from Andre Iguodala and another from Channing Frye, as the shot clock expired and suddenly had a three-point lead. On the next possession, Frye added to the lead on a follow-up dunk off a miss by Salim Stoudamire when the Cardinal failed to box out.

Stoudamire hit a deep three-pointer to put Arizona up 77-73, but that would be the last points Arizona would score. After the 21-4 run the Cats were outscored 13-5.

Childress was for the key he Cardinal in the final minutes. He went to the line and made 1-of-2 to make it a one-possession game. The Cats turned the ball over on the next possession and Childress tied the game on the ensuing trip down the court with a three from the corner.

Childress led Stanford with 18 points and 10 rebounds and played great defense on Andre Iguodala.

The Cats played for the final shot, but things did not go their way. Stoudamire had the ball stripped away and that led to the Robinson desperation heave. Olson said that Stanford should never have gotten the chance.

"Stanford was trying to foul intentionally and they (the officials) wouldn't make the call," Olson said. "Mike (Montgomery) had his arms crossed and was screaming for the foul."

Whether or not that was the case, the Cats did not get a shot off and turnovers on the two final possessions spoiled a phenomenal game for Stoudamire. The junior had 24 points on 9-14 shooting, including the clutch three-pointer at the end.

"This is the most emotion, determination and leadership we've seen from him in some time," Olson said of Stoudamire.

Channing Frye has taken a lot of heat lately, but the big man played very well. He had a lot of trouble with the physical Rob Little, but he made sure the Cardinal big men had difficulty with him at the other end of the court.

Frye scored 15 points, 13 in the second half. He also pulled down nine rebounds and stayed out of foul trouble while trying to handle the physical Little. Little had 16 points, making 6-9 shots.

"I thought Frye played his tail off," Olson said. "He was out there battling their two big guys."

Stanford started out hot, opened the game by outscoring the Wildcats 14-4 and never let the Wildcats make a first half run. The Cardinal used the three-point shot and the pick and roll to exploit the Wildcats' shaky defense.

Stoudamire gave the Cats some momentum when he hit a buzzer beater three at the end of the first half. The Wildcats came out and scored the first seven points of the second half. However, the Cats then allowed Stanford to outscore them 15-6 to build a nine-point lead.

The Cats made the last run, but unforunately made enough mistakes to cost them the game.

Defensively it was a mixed bag for Arizona. They forced 15 turnovers, but let Stanford shoot 52%. The intensity was there, but they made numerous mistakes, including many that Olson said were covered in practice.

"You get down to the end and it may come down to luck or a missed call," Olson said.

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