Feb 7, 2004
By ROB GLOSTER
AP Sports Writer
Stanford beats Arizona on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
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STANFORD, Calif. - Nick Robinson scooped up the ball, glanced at the clock, took a couple of dribbles and let it fly. Then came the roar, and the next thing he knew he was at the bottom of a pile of delirious Stanford students.
Robinson hit a running 3-pointer from about 35 feet at the buzzer, and No. 2 Stanford survived a late scare to defeat No. 12 Arizona 80-77 Saturday and remain one of the nation's two undefeated Division I teams.
The Cardinal, who tied a school record with their 20th straight victory, came from four points behind in the final minute after Arizona went on a 19-6 run to take the lead.
The winning shot was set up when Robinson and Matt Lottich trapped Arizona's Salim Stoudamire, knocking the ball loose.
"The ball was suddenly in front of me. I looked at the clock and there was two seconds left. I went right for the basket. I knew I had to get a shot off," said Robinson, who started at forward only because of leg injuries to Justin Davis and Matt Haryasz.
The crowd, which included Stanford alum Tiger Woods, stormed the court to surround the Cardinal (20-0, 11-0 Pac-10).
The loss ended a streak of four straight wins for Arizona (14-6, 6-5) at Stanford's Maples Pavilion, where hundreds of students camped outside starting Tuesday.
"We didn't take care of ourselves in the last minute," said Arizona's Channing Frye, who had a 3-pointer and dunk to cap a 14-0 run that gave the Wildcats a 72-67 lead with less than four minutes remaining. "We should have beat them and could have beat them in this game, we've done it before."
With Stanford trailing 77-73, Josh Childress made one of two free throws with 43 seconds left. A steal by Lottich then led to Childress' 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game with 24 seconds to go.
"When you leave it to the last possession, it's always a coin flip. They made the plays that they needed, especially those two key steals at the end," said Arizona's Lute Olson, who was coaching his 950th college game. "We just really messed it up."
I'm starting to think this group is something special. It was an unbelievable game. This is just another step in what's turning out to be a doggone good season."
Stanford Head Coach Mike Montgomery
Stanford also began the 2000-01 season with 20 straight wins. The Cardinal went 31-3 that year, eventually losing to Maryland in the round of eight in the NCAA tournament.
Arizona has been ranked as high as fourth this season, but now has lost three of its last four games - all on the road. The Wildcats began their long weekend in the San Francisco Bay area with an 87-83 loss at California.
Stoudamire had 24 points for the Wildcats, including a long 3-pointer that gave Arizona the 77-73 lead with 58 seconds left.
Leading 44-35 at halftime, Stanford seemed to regain control after Arizona had pulled within two points early in the second half. Chris Hernandez, who led the Cardinal with 20 points, hit a couple of long 3-pointers to short-circuit an Arizona run shortly after halftime.
The Cardinal led 67-58 when Arizona found its shooting touch and added some uncharacteristically tough defense, holding Stanford scoreless for more than seven minutes.
Andre Iguodala had a 3-pointer and a dunk and then the 6-foot-11 Frye did the same in the 14-0 run that put Arizona in the lead in the closing minutes.
When Robinson got the loose ball with seconds left, Stanford coach Mike Montgomery was relieved his team appeared to be heading to overtime.
"To be down by four that late and to come back, that's just luck in that situation. I'm starting to think this group is something special. It was an unbelievable game," Montgomery said.
"This is just another step in what's turning out to be a doggone good season."
Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery
"I'm starting to think that this group is something special. Arizona was very good. The second half, they were spectacular. We had a nine point lead that we gave up. We were fortunate on turnovers. We had a foul to give, so we wanted to be aggressive. Josh hit a big three. We were just fortunate to have a foul in our pocket. The one-third court shot: certainly some luck involved. In the course of this rivalry, Arizona has beat on occasions where it tore our heart out. I'm so proud of these guys, losing two big players and coming back with the last two wins. They shot sixty percent in the second-half...we couldn't stop them. Every time we made a mistake they capitalized. We had no choice, we had to get out and
Arizona head coach Lute Olson
"It was a great game. Both teams played hard and competed. They made plays that needed to be made. They came up with two key steals when they need them. The game was won in the first half when they jumped on us early. We have to play every possession like it's the last one and we didn't. We certainly didn't quit. We came back hard, defended well. It's a difficult game to talk about what might have been. We played exceptionally well in the second half. They found some things that worked and took advantage of them when they were pulling away from us. Joe Kirchofer did a solid job when he came in. He knows what the team needs, and he came in and did what he could do. Salim Stoudamire showed the most leadership of the year tonight. He had a break out game in that regard. We were having a hard time getting the same effort out of everyone. The last sequence, they had a foul to give. We wanted to spread the floor and get a last shot inside four seconds. We wanted to put the ball in Salim Stoudamire's hands with a pick. Without Justin Davis and Matt Haryasz, they all stepped up. It's a mature club. They understand which guys can do what. Chris Hernandez is the most valuable player on that team. He knows when to take it up. I'm not sure there's a better point player in the conference than Chris Hernandez. He's a winner. He gets the best out of everyone he plays...the kind of guy we all look for. We competed very hard. Will we learn from it? I hope so. When you leave the game to the final possession, it's like flipping a coin.
"Matt Lottich was playing good defense on Salim Stoudamire. All of a sudden, the ball was loose. I caught it and looked at the clock and saw the last two seconds. I took it as fast as I could and just shot it. I knew we needed to get a shot off, so I just took it."
Stanford-Arizona game notes
* Stanford improves its win-streak to 20-0, matching the Stanford record for longest win-streak.
* Stanford swept both Arizona State and Arizona (a total of four games) this season for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
* Stanford is 16-0 this season and 25-2 over the last two years with Nick Robinson starting.
* Stanford improves to 12-0 at Maples Pavilion this season with two more home games (Oregon State on Feb. 26, Oregon on Feb. 28). Stanford has gone unbeaten at home only two times in Maples Pavilion's 36 years: 13-0 (1988-89) and 12-0 (1996-97).
* Stanford's win tonight ends Arizona's four-game win streak at Maples Pavilion.
* Stanford Media Relations credentialed 91 people for tonight's game, the second-most in Maples Pavilion history.
* Celebrities at today's game included Tiger Woods, Jim Plunkett (former Stanford All-American and NFL quarderback), Bill Walsh (former San Francisco 49er and Stanford head coach), Troy Walters (former Stanford wide receiver and a member of the Indianapolis Colts) and George Schultz (former Secretary of State).