Player of the Game: Salim Stoudamire

Salim Stoudamire came out hot and stayed hot as he led the Wildcats to an emotional, physical and hard fought victory over rival ASU. With its 83-75 win, Arizona now leads the all-time series against the Sun Devils 127-73.

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Once again, it was the spectacular play of Wildcat freshman phenom Salim Stoudamire that led Arizona to victory. This time it was over the hated Sun Devils of ASU when the Cats held on for an 83-75 win. Arizona's Pac-10 title hopes stayed alive as the Cats improved to 18-8 overall and (more importantly) 11-5 in conference play.

Stoudamire had a great game, finishing with 24 points on 6-9 shooting. He also had a couple key offensive rebounds in the game, including one with under a minute to go off a Luke Walton miss to give Arizona some breathing room against the pestering Devils.

Some of his more impressive moments from the game included: Hitting his first two three-pointers of the game and then nailing an absolutely huge three from the left corner to give Arizona a 75-69 lead.

Salim looked like he cramped up early on and it slowed some of his explosiveness on both ends of the court but he still did a good job on defense and, obviously, on offense.

Among the others considered for the award were Wildcats Rick Anderson, who although he got in foul trouble in the second half, got Arizona out to an impressive start and finished the first half with 14 points and six rebounds on 5-6 shooting. Also, Walton played well for the most part, handing out a game-high ten assists despite being ice cold shooting the ball. Along with his ten dimes, Walton added eight points and five rebounds. Not too bad, but a far cry from the 26 points, ten boards and six assists he tallied in Tempe a month ago.

With his performance tonight against ASU, Stoudamire virtually assures himself of finishing first or second in the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year race, and rightfully so.

Check out tonight's Game Talk for more information and notes on not only Salim Stoudamire but also the rest of the Arizona program.


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