Game Talk: Cats outmuscle Devils

Notes and quotes from the post game locker rooms of Arizona and Arizona State. The Wildcats beat the Sun Devils by 17 points, 73-56, and have now won 14 of the past 15 meetings with their intrastate rivals.

*Arizona's 73-56 win over ASU was its tenth straight in conference tournament play. The streak dates back to March of 1988 when Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr led the Wildcats to the tournament championship. Thursday night's win over the Sun Devils improved Arizona's all-time record in the league tournament to a remarkable 10-1.

*The Wildcats also earned their 20th win on the year and have now extended their steak of 20-win seasons to 15 consecutive years, a figure that is the longest active streak in the nation. Conversely, Arizona's most impressive streak is most likely going to come to an end this season unless the Cats go on a magical run to the national championship. With one more loss, Arizona will have dropped 10 games in a season for the first time since 1987.

*Jason Gardner's extended family was on hand for the game on Thursday night. His uncles, Don and Greg Livers, his mother, Stephanie, grandmother Mary Livers and girlfriend Jackie Maxberry were all in attendance as Jason scored 22 points including 12-12 from the free throw line.

*Gardner is quickly approaching teammate Salim Stoudamire's school record for consecutive free throws made. Earlier this year Stoudamire set the record by making 39 straight but after hitting all 12 of his attempts at the stripe tonight, Gardner is now at 29 and counting.

*After hearing all season long how physical and rough ASU is and how soft Arizona is, a big time reversal of roles took place in the third meeting between the teams. An article in a Phoenix paper this week talked about how some Arizona players were intimidated by the Sun Devils' senior forward Awvee Storey. Well, after the game on Thursday some of the ASU players talked about who the more physical team really was. Here are some post-game quotes:

"Arizona came out and pushed us around early on," Chad Prewitt said. "We couldn't get them out of their zone and they just packed it in on us. It was just a tough night."

"They came out and played hard and we didn't," Curtis Millage said. "They got all the rebounds and they executed their offense and played solid defense."

Lute Olson talked about staying in the 3-2 zone the entire game instead of mixing in some man-to-man defense from time to time.

"We planned on changing our defense but ASU had a difficult time hitting outside shots. I thought we did a good job of keeping the ball out of the middle and Ricky (Anderson) was a key on the boards for us (career-high 14 rebounds)."

Salim Stoudamiresuffered a hip flexor in the first half and played sparingly the rest of  the game. Olson used the injury to get Will Bynum some extended play in hopes it will increase Bynum's nconfidence.

"Salim (Stoudamire) had a slight groin pull. He slipped on the floor early in the game. Actually it was hip flexor, but it's the same problems as a groin pull. So we used Salim as much as we needed but no more. Will (Bynum) did a good job. His play has been improving in practice and his confidence has been going up. The may not be the way we want him to get his minutes but he did a good job."

Rick Anderson had a game-high 14 rebounds against ASU, a team that's always given the Wildcats problem because its physical style.

"It was rough out there, then the refs started calling some fouls in the second half. Arizona State was grabbing and holding and getting those silly fouls and we took advantage of it."


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