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Josh Huestis
No. 1 Arizona Escapes 60-57
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/29/2014

STANFORD, Calif.- In front of an electric sellout crowd, Stanford gave No. 1/1 Arizona all it could handle, but a three-point attempt in the final 10 seconds just missed and Wildcats escaped with a 60-57 victory.

With six seconds left, Chasson Randle used a ball screen from John Gage to break free for an opportunity to tie the game, but Randle’s shot bounced off the rim and the Wildcats remained undefeated.

Arizona (21-0, 8-0 Pac-12) received a clutch three-pointer from Nick Johnson, who led the Wildcats with 16 points, with 51 seconds to move in front 58-55 before Randle knocked down a pair of free throws.

Stanford (13-7, 4-4 Pac-12) limited Arizona to its lowest point total of the year while allowing 36.0 percent shooting. The Cardinal never fell behind by more than five points and held a seven-point advantage on two occasions, the final instance coming at 49-42 with 13:15 to play in the second half.

But the Cardinal was victimized by a lengthy second-half scoring drought that lasted nearly 10 minutes. After a jumper from Huestis put Stanford in front 53-49 at the 10:03 mark, the next bucket didn’t come until a layup from Powell with 1:21 remaining.

Randle, who entered the game averaging 19.2 points, was limited to just 12 points on 3-15 shooting overall while converting 1-5 from beyond the arc.

Huestis posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds while Dwight Powell also chipped in with 13 points. Stefan Nastic added 10 points.

Stanford will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. when Arizona State comes to Maples Pavilion.

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NOTES: Stanford is now 4-8 against No. 1 teams over the last four decades and 4-26 overall. The Cardinal was looking for its first win against a No. 1 team since defeating Kansas 64-58 on Dec. 6, 2003 in Anaheim, Calif., at the John Wooden Classic. Stanford was hosting its first No. 1 team since March 1, 2003, a 72-69 win over Arizona ... For the first time in 11 games, Stanford lost a game when leading at halftime … Josh Huestis notched his fifth double-double of the season and 16th career. He also added one block, increasing his career total to 158 as he chases Tim Young’s school record of 167 … Chasson Randle played 40 minutes for the third time this season … Stefan Nastic scored in double figures for the eighth time this year and 10th career … Aaron Gordon was held to his second-lowest point total of the season, scoring five points on 2-10 shooting … Stanford finished with five assists, its fewest since dishing out three in a 58-56 win over Washington on Jan. 13, 2011 … The Cardinal was limited to under 40.0 percent shooting for only the third time this year … The game featured six ties and 11 lead changes.

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QUOTES

Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
“That was a heckuva basketball game by both teams. I thought our young men came out and gave a heckuva effort. For 38 minutes, I thought we were right there. You credit Arizona for making the plays they needed to make at the end. Nick Johnson stepped up with a floater at the foul line and a three-point bucket late. I have watched a lot of tape on them and he has done that all year. He has been a guy who has really produced in the clutch. He was the difference tonight in a lot of areas.”

“There is still a big upside to our team. I think we have time to still continue and improve. I think we showed that tonight that guys can still make another jump. I thought for instance that Stefan Nastic made a jump in this game. He was more active and made plays around the basket. He continues to get better and better. That was one positive for us and I thought a number of other guys came in against a No. 1 team and played with poise. That is what you have to have for guys coming off the bench.”

“They are one of the best defensive teams in our conference and in the nation. In a game like this, you just have to make tough shots. They were challenging everything which they normally do. Those guys are very active and long. I thought our guys did a good job of trying to take it to them. They just have to finish.”

“The energy was fantastic. It was electric and the best since I have been here. It was so exciting for me to walk out there and feel that support and energy from the crowd. Our guys feed off that. That is part of having a great home court advantage. I thought our guys played as if that is what it was like. I was really proud of that.”

Josh Huestis
“First I just want to say that I am really proud of our guys. They fought the entire game. There is no such thing as a moral victory. We have to learn lessons from this game. The difference for me was how hard our guys came out and played the entire game. It came down to one play that can kill you. It is frustrating but we have Arizona State coming in and we will be ready.”

“Coming off any loss it is tough to sleep at night. Of course this will weigh heavy on guy’s minds. You can go one or two ways with it. You can pick your head up and get ready for the next one or you can let it mess you up. I am sure our guys will be ready to go for the next game.”

“That stretch where we only had one field goal, we let them move us off our spots offensively. We can’t let the defense push us out because then we are running our offense too far back. We just need to go back to practice and look at the film. We need to work on fighting for those positions and not let defenses push us out and contest us and finding ways to score down the stretch.”

“Any time you get this many people coming out and showing their support it is amazing. We feed off that. It was great having them out tonight and I hope they keep showing up like that.”

Chasson Randle
“They did a good job at times and on the open looks I did get I came up short. John (Gage) set a really good ball screen and I came up the court. I thought I got a good look at it but it was one of those nights.”

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller
“Our ability to hold them to what we did in the second half (to two baskets in the last 12 minutes) is a big reason we won. Our defense won the game tonight. I guess good fortune always plays a role, win or lose. We missed a lot of free throws. At times offensively, we weren't nearly as good as we've been. I credit Stanford. They had a good game plan and they played excellent defense. Stanford did a great job of keeping us off the glass.”

“Stanford is big and physical. We don't run into that many teams that are as big as we are, and if you look at their positions, they might actually be bigger. They did as well as any team all year of keeping us off the glass.”

“If you look at the game within the game, our ability to defend at a very high level, to get defensive stop after defensive stop when the other team really needed a score, that's what we've done from day one.”

Nick Johnson
“We know by now that we're going to get everybody's best shot, and that's what happened. Packed crowd, a hyped crowd tonight -- it was a tough game. They didn't surprise us -- we know how talented they are, they have very good athletes in Huestis and Powell. I didn't know the big guy (Stefan Nastic) was that good.”

“I kept on looking over at the coach and he gave me the freedom to call my play a few times in a row. I just tried to make plays for my team. It was really not our offense that was struggling, but our defense at first. But down the stretch we really capitalized on defense.”

Brandon Ashley
“That's a very talented team that we played. I don't think luck played a factor at all. We worked hard for everything we got.”

“We need to be more consistent on the defensive end. There will be times we start off a game really well, not this game, per se -- by holding the other team to under 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, and then we let them go out on a run. We just need more consistency there.”


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