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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “One down, two to go”

    Arizonas Ivan Radenovic shoots past Stanfords Matt Haryasz during the second half of Arizonas second round Pac-10 Tournament game against Stanford, Thursday March 9, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Arizona beat Stanford 73-68, and will play tomorrow 7 p.m. MST. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Chris Coduto
    Arizona’s Ivan Radenovic shoots past Stanford’s Matt Haryasz during the second half of Arizona’s second round Pac-10 Tournament game against Stanford, Thursday March 9, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Arizona beat Stanford 73-68, and will play tomorrow 7 p.m. MST. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    Men’s basketball: Arizona 73, stanford 68

    For the Stanford Cardinal, it was a game they had to win with all the numbers going against them. As tough as the numbers were, Arizona was even tougher.

    The No. 4-seeded Wildcats (19-11) ended any realistic hopes No. 5 seed Stanford (15-13) had of making the NCAA Tournament yesterday afternoon when the Wildcats beat the Cardinal 73-68 in the quarterfinals of the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament in Los Angeles.

    The Wildcats move on to face No. 13 UCLA (25-6), the tournament’s No. 1 seed, in the semifinals tonight at 7:20 in a game televised by FSN, after the Bruins destroyed No. 9 seed Oregon State (13-18) 79-47 in the quarterfinals yesterday.

    It was a tough year for the Cardinal against the Wildcats, as they went 0-3 against Arizona this season and dropped to 0-4 all-time against the Wildcats in the Pac-10 Tournament.

    Arizona played yesterday without senior guard Hassan Adams, who was suspended for the entirety of the conference tournament after being cited for driving under the influence, and junior guard Mustafa Shakur said it made a big impact on the team.

    “”I think it took a lot out of us emotionally because he’s our emotional leader,”” Shakur said. “”He called everybody constantly throughout the week, just trying to help out as much as possible, but we missed him a lot.””

    The Wildcats might have been without the conference steals leader, but the team forced a season-high in turnovers for Stanford, 23, including 13 steals.

    “”There is no question that the thing that did it for us was our defense,”” Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. “”That’s been our trademark all year long.””

    As for the Wildcats, they totaled a season-low seven, the same number that senior guard Chris Hernandez had, with just two in the second half.

    In the second half, Arizona was never up more than seven points, with that lead dissipating all the way to a one-point lead with just 3:57 left, but clutch free-throw shooting by Shakur, junior forward Ivan Radenovic and senior guard Chris Rodgers helped the Wildcats secure the victory.

    Shakur was big in every category, notching 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, his most productive game offensively since he scored the same number of points in the Jan. 28 meeting at No. 10 North Carolina.

    Shakur said that his explosion on the offensive end had no correlation to the absence of Adams, who was averaging 20 points per game against Stanford this season.

    “”I try not to think about it at all,”” Shakur said. “”I just play the same way I’ve been playing and not change anything because when you try to force things is when you make a lot of mistakes, so I just didn’t force anything and just played in the flow.””

    Freshman forward Marcus Williams, the team’s second leading scorer behind Adams, scored 11 points on just 3-of-16 shooting (18.8 percent), something Olson said might have been caused by not letting the game come to him.

    “”Marcus may have felt some pressure that he had to step up more in the scoring end, but he shouldn’t because it will hurt us as a team,”” Olson said. “”They did a good job of defending him, but if somebody does a good job of defending you, you have to be patient and let the shots come to you.””

    The win against Stanford notched a few career performances, as walk-on sophomore forward Bret Brielmaier set his career high in points with six and Rodgers tied the Pac-10 Tournament record with five steals.

    “”I always try to bring that spark, intensity,”” Brielmaier said. “”We were missing a lot without Hassan here, and I think everybody knew they had to step up and play well today, and I think we did.””

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