Cardinal prevail at McKale

TUCSON, ARIZ.—In the end it was too much Curtis Borchardt. The Stanford center was the difference in the Cardinal's 76-71 win over Arizona. Borchardt scored 28 points and ripped down nine rebounds, but it was his foul shooting that made the difference as he made all six of his free throws in the game's final minute.

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The Wildcats contained Casey Jacobsen, limiting the All-American candidate to only six points. For Borchardt they had no answer as the strong center abused the smaller Wildcat post players. Five Wildcat post players fouled out down the stretch trying to contain Borchardt.

Borchardt sealed the game late. With the Cardinal up two, Teyo Johnson missed both of his free throws. Borchardt kept the ball out of the hands of the Wildcat rebounders and drew a foul. His last two free throws iced the game.

"This loss hurts," Jason Gardner said.

The Wildcats got off to a slow start. The Cats failed to score on their first five possessions and found themselves trailing 6-0 in the early going. UA was plagued with both sloppy play and poor shooting. The Cats started 0-4 from the field and added a travel, a turn over and a tie-up that gave possession to Stanford.

The Wildcats proceeded to outscore the Cardinal 15-5 over the next six minutes. Arizona got a three pointer from Rick Anderson and Jason Gardner to build up a 14-11 lead with 12:00 in the first half.

The pace picked up over the next 4:30. The teams who score 25 points in the first 8:00, suddenly combined to score 24 in a little more than half that time. Reserve guard Matt Lottich came off the bench, scoring five quick points. His three-pointer tied the game at 14 and a leaner gave the Cardinal a short lived 20-18 lead.

Gardner didn't allow Stanford to hold the lead very long. Five quick points of his own allowed Arizona to regain the lead. His three-pointer put Arizona back up 21-20 and a baseline pull-up jumper put the Cats ahead 25-22 with 7:45 left in the half.

Gardner led the Cats throughout. He scored 33 points and had Arizona in the game until the very end.

"Jason kept us in the game," said Walton. "We can't beat Stanford with just Jason."

The teams continued to swap baskets with the Wildcats never leading by more than three. A transition dunk put the Cardinal up 33-29. With Jacobsen in the locker room receiving stitches after he caught an elbow from Salim Stoudamire, the Cardinal made successive lay-ins to lead 36-32 with 1:00 left in the half.

Gardner hit a three-pointer as the first half came to a close to tie the score at 37.

The Cats won the first half rebounding battle, due mostly to the play of Anderson and Isaiah Fox. The Wildcat duo had 14 first half boards and finished with 11 and nine respectively.

The teams came out of the locker room slow. after the intermission Neither team made a field goal in the first 2:30 of the second half, but free throw shooting allowed Stanford to build a slim lead. Arizona was able to tie the game, but back-to-back three's by Johnson and Jacobsen put the Cardinal ahead 47-41 with just under 16:00 to play.

The Cats battled back to take a 51-50 lead. Frye hit a free throw and an 18-footer, Gardner added a three to tied the game at 47. Childress added a three before Walton scored four straight points for the lead.

The Cats went into another slump and the Cardinal pounced. With Arizona unable to score, the Cardinal built up a six-point lead due in large part to Borchardt who scored six on the 8-2 run.

Arizona cut it to one on a couple of occasions but could not regain the lead. Stanford went back to their big man and the junior center responded with four straight to put the Cardinal up 68-63 with just over a minute to play.

Gardner was clutch again. The junior guard knocked down a three to get the Cats within two. With Arizona pressing he grabbed a steal and fed it to Anderson who had his lay up attempt blocked. The Cardinal made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to preserve the win.

Like Jacobsen, Walton struggled. He scored 14 points but committed nine turnovers and was a terrible 4-of-11 from the free throw line.

"I really didn't do anything well tonight and that just can't happen," Walton said. "It's really difficult because we worked so hard to get where we're at. Now, to play like that, it hurts."

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