Dec. 18, 1999
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Stanford's players polished off yet another overmatched opponent, then sat in their locker room watching a game across the country. They got the result they wanted.
Jason Collins had 14 points and 13 rebounds and No. 2 Stanford (8-0) hit eight 3-pointers in a 78-56 win over Sacramento State on Saturday night that likely will move the Cardinal up to No. 1 next week.
With top-ranked Cincinnati's 66-64 loss to Xavier, Stanford is expected to make its first appearance at No. 1.
"We were watching the game like fans. When Xavier won, we all looked at each other and said, `Do we want to be No. 1? Can we handle it?' And then we said, `Yeah, we can handle it," Stanford's David Moseley said.
The Cardinal watched the final minutes of the Cincinnati-Xavier game on a big-screen TV in their locker room.
"This is all really cool," Moseley said. "This is every guys' dream, to play on the No. 1 team in the country. We also know that we're going to have a big red target with a circle around it on us. We are still going to have to be the attackers, because we're going to be attacked."
Jason's twin brother, Jarron Collins, added 11 points and Ryan Mendez also had 11 for the Cardinal, who held the Hornets to 31 percent shooting - the sixth time Stanford has kept an opponent from making a third of its shots this season.
"It's way premature for us to get too excited," Jarron Collins said. "But this shows that we have respect all over the country, and that is something that we're seeking all the time."
Sacramento State coach Tom Abatemarco said Stanford will be even better when it gets back power forward Mark Madsen, who has missed seven games with a strained right hamstring. Madsen could return next week.
"This is definitely a Final Four team. I know what I'm talking about," said Abatemarco, an assistant on the North Carolina State team that won the 1983 NCAA title. "You throw the big guy (Madsen) in there and they're unstoppable. Right now they're already outstanding."
Anthony Flood had 22 points before fouling out with three minutes left for Sacramento State (5-3), which had no player taller than 6-foot-7 in its starting lineup while Stanford had three starters at least that tall.
Flood scored 14 of his points in the second half, including a spurt in which he hit 3-pointers on four consecutive Sacramento State possessions. Pablo Gonzales added 13 points for the Hornets.
Stanford used a 22-6 run over the closing 12 1/2 minutes of the first half to turn a tie game into a 37-21 halftime lead. Casey Jacobsen, David Moseley and Mike McDonald all had 3-pointers during the run.
"They played us tough inside early and our guys thought they could shoot over the traffic," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said.
The Cardinal quickly expanded their margin in the second half. The lead grew to 31 points with 10 minutes remaining when Curtis Borchardt's slam made it 60-29.
The Hornets' quick hands and tight defense, including full-court pressure on some possessions, bothered the Cardinal at the start of the game. Stanford was held to just one basket in the opening 4 1/2 minutes.
But the Cardinal then took control of the game from outside. Half of Stanford's 30 shots in the first half came from 3-point range, and 18 of the Cardinal's 37 first-half points were on 3-pointers.
By ROB GLOSTER
AP Sports Writer