The Stanford Cardinal headed into Tucson looking for their first road victory of the season, but they knew they would be facing a confident opponent in the Arizona Wildcats, a team which had won their last two, including a convincing victory in Tempe over their in-state rivals. Stanford held an advantage going into the last five minutes of the first half, but two key stretches to end and begin the first and second halves ultimately did the Cardinal in as Arizona recorded a 76-68 win at the McKale Center on Thursday evening. Arizona moves to 11-9, 5-3 in the Pac-10, while Stanford falls to 10-10, 4-4 in league play.
Arizona opened the game on a 9-3 run, capped by a Kyle Fogg three-pointer which sent the home fans into a frenzy. Stanford rallied right back 11 points in a row, including a three-pointer by Landry Fields and a dunk from point guard Jarrett Mann, over 2:36 of the first half to give the visitors a 14-9 advantage near the midway point of the first half. Consecutive jumpers by Da'Veed Dildy and Fields kept the Wildcats at bay, putting the Cardinal up 20-15 with 8:46 to go in the opening stanza, before Arizona reeled off six in a row to get the lead back for the home team.
A Fields jumper and Jack Trotter shot put Stanford up 24-21 until a Jamelle Horne three-pointer tied the game up for the second time just before the last media timeout of the half. After the break in the action, both teams came out swinging, trading baskets back and forth before Arizona pulled ahead by seven, 35-28, after a three-point play by big man Derrick Williams and jump shot by Lamont Jones. The Cardinal countered with five quick points, but two Nic Wise free throws with under a second left in the first half put Arizona up by four, 37-33, at the break.
At the half, Stanford was shooting 50% from the floor, 22% from outside the arc, and made their only free throw attempt. Arizona show just 36% from the field, 40% at the three-point line, and made 7-8 (88%) at the charity stripe. The Wildcats outrebounded the Cardinal 20-16, including 10-4 on the offensive end, leading to 12-4 UA advantage in second chance points. Stanford had seven assists and seven turnovers at the half, while Arizona tallied five assists and four turnovers over the first 20 minutes of play.
Stanford was led at the half by Fields' 16 points and five rebounds on 7-9 shooting. Jeremy Green was next in line with seven, while Mann scored four, provided five boards, and dished out three assists. Fogg and Williams each scored seven to lead the Wildcats, with Wise and Brendon Lavender each had six.
The second half started off like the first half ended with Arizona going on a run to give itself some breathing room over the Cardinal, scoring seven of the first eight points, propelling the home program to their first double-digit lead of the night, 44-34, with 17:22 remaining in the game. Stanford scored six in a row, but a Johnny Dawkins technical foul (called on the head man for coming onto the court to protest a no-call by the referees on Fields) stopped the run as Wise hit the two subsequent free throws. Five more points, capped off by a rim-rocking dunk by Williams, put Arizona up 11 with 12:24 left in the contest. A Green three-pointer and jumper stopped the bleeding for the Cardinal, giving them hope heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.
A Fields dunk made it 55-50 with 8:36 left, but a Fogg right corner three-pointer over the Cardinal zone placed the Wildcats further ahead. The lead would ping-pong six and nine over the next few minutes of play, but Arizona capitalized on missed Stanford shots and a couple of turnovers to push ahead by an even dozen, 68-56, with 2:31 after another powerful flush by Williams inside the paint. Stanford, though, wasn't quite done, getting consecutive three-pointers by their powerful duo, one by Fields, another by Green, in a span of 14 seconds, cutting the lead in half with plenty of time to go. After a miss by Kevin Parrom, Fields had a shot to make it just four, but turned the ball over. After Solomon Hill made one of two from the line, Green made a jumper. Wise's two free throws at the 28-second mark were countered by a long Green three-pointer, cutting the margin to four. A turnover by Jones after a made free throw by Dildy gave Stanford one last chance, but Shiller missed the three-pointer, ending the Cardinal's last opportunity to get within a possession of the Wildcats.
For the contest, Stanford made 47% of their field goals, 40% from the three-point line, and 63% (10-16) from the charity stripe. Arizona shot just 33% from the field, 37% from deep, and were 27-34 (79%) at the free throw line. Arizona outrebounded Stanford by a 38-34 margin, but the real damage was done on the offensive glass as the Wildcats converted 19 of those opportunities into 20 second chance points and numerous long possessions for Stanford's defense to contest the spry Arizona offense. Stanford dished out 13 assists, but committed 18 turnovers, while the Wildcats had 10 assists and 10 turnovers.
Stanford received 56 points (including 33 of the team's 35 points in the second half) from Fields and Green. Fields finished with a double-double, getting 31 points and 11 rebounds on 11-18 shooting, while Green scored 25 on 9-20 shooting from the floor. Mann was the next highest scorer with five points, but he also grabbed eight rebounds and passed around a team high eight assists. Arizona was led by Williams' 23 points. Williams was followed by Fogg's 15 and Wise's 14.
Stanford will look to rebound and gain a split in the desert as they take on
Herb Sendek's Arizona State Sun Devils at 1:00pm on Saturday
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