March 11, 2000
Send a Cardinal FANcard!
TEMPE, Ariz. - Stanford has a share of the Pac-10 title for the second straight season, but the No. 2 Cardinal had to do it the hard way.
Casey Jacobsen scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as Stanford overcame a sloppy start to beat Arizona State 65-57 Saturday.
"We had to have this one," Jacobsen said. "We couldn't afford another loss."
The Cardinal (26-3, 15-3 Pac-10) had dropped their previous two games, to UCLA and No. 9 Arizona. The Wildcats beat California 70-61 in Tucson later Saturday for a share of the league title and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament because of a sweep of Stanford this season.
Arizona State (18-12, 10-8) needed to upset the Cardinal to have any realistic shot at an NCAA tourney bid. For awhile, that looked possible.
"We had a horrible start with 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Maybe we were nervous," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. "But we got back on track in the second half. It was gutty performance."
The Sun Devils likely will wind up in the NIT.
"I still think we're one of the top 64 teams," Arizona State coach Rob Evans said. "We are deserving of making the tournament. We just got a little tired today. Stanford is big and physical and they wore us down."
David Moseley finished with 15 points, all in the second half, as Stanford and tied a school record with its 15th conference win.
Alton Mason paced the Sun Devils with 13 points and Eddie House had 11, but only two in the second half.
House, the only senior on a freshmen-filled Arizona State roster, made just 5 of his 23 shots. Overall, the Sun Devils were 20-of-69 from the field for a season-low 29 percent.
"It's not my last game," said House, six points shy of becoming Arizona State's career scoring leader. "I wish we had a conference tournament. We've had a great second half this season. We deserve to keep playing."
The Cardinal appeared to be in trouble early with Arizona State using an 11-0 run to take a 16-6 lead. But Moseley keyed a 15-0 spurt to put Stanford up 21-16 with 6:20 left in the first half.
Mason, Justin Allen and Donnell Knight all sank 3-pointers as the Sun Devils closed the half with a 9-0 run for a 30-26 lead.
Jacobsen opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the corner - one of seven Cardinal 3-pointers in the second half - and Michael McDonald's 3-pointer put Stanford ahead to stay at 34-32 with 18:13 left.
Ryan Mendez came off the bench to make a pair of 3-pointers that capped a 20-6 run for a 46-36 lead with 12:48 remaining.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Jacobsen and Mendez made it 55-43 with 9:23 to play.
Arizona State closed to 57-50 on two free throws by Knight with 3:06 left, but Jacobsen made three free throws down the stretch.
"Jacobson was huge," Montgomery said. "He played 37 minutes. I asked him if he was tired a couple times and he said, 'Coach, I want them all the way.' He's a great competitor."
By WALTER BERRY
Associated Press Writer