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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Striped influence

    Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless, right, is fouled by Stanford forward Lawrence Hill on a fastbreak layup in a 67-66 Cardinal win in McKale Center on Saturday. Bayless completed the three-point play with a free throw, one of his 16 converted shots from the charity stripe in the game.
    Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless, right, is fouled by Stanford forward Lawrence Hill on a fastbreak layup in a 67-66 Cardinal win in McKale Center on Saturday. Bayless completed the three-point play with a free throw, one of his 16 converted shots from the charity stripe in the game.

    No. 7 Stanford 67, Arizona 66

    The Arizona men’s basketball coaching staff ended up being prophetic when writing “”GET THE CALLS!!”” in blue ink on a whiteboard in the locker room.

    During a second half when it seemed like breathing the wrong way resulted in fouls for both teams, No. 7 Stanford (21-4, 10-3 Pacific 10 Conference) got the most important whistle in its 67-66 win over Arizona (16-9, 6-6) Saturday in McKale Center.

    “”They really took over the game and controlled the game,”” UA forward Chase Budinger said of the referees. “”They didn’t let us go out there and just play. It was (a) straight slow-down game the whole night, the whole day.””

    Although that style of officiating favored the Cardinal, the Wildcats trailed by just one in the final seconds when Stanford forward Taj Finger bodied Budinger a bit on his foray to the hoop, the type of call that had been made all half, before center Robin Lopez blocked his shot while possibly getting a little body as well.

    Budinger threw his arms up in the air pleading for a call to no avail as time expired and the Cardinal players joyously ran back to their bench.

    “”Chase was supposed to get the ball and go to the rim and we just didn’t get the call,”” said UA guard Jerryd Bayless. “”The big man jumped into Chase and I guess the refs just weren’t looking at that last play.””

    The officials, however, took notice of Stanford’s final play, when forward Brook Lopez drew a foul on UA center Kirk Walters although replays showed Walters only got a piece of the ball on the shot, while Budinger cleanly finished the block off from behind.

    Lopez calmly nailed the eventual winning free throws after ABC analyst Brent Musburger said “”wow”” four times while watching the replay and color commentator Steve Lavin said, “”It looks like a Spalding sandwich, completely clean. I think the official anticipated that call.””

    Added Walters: “”It doesn’t matter anymore, but I felt like I had a lot of the ball, but it wasn’t called that way, so what can you do?””

    Fouls dictated the second half as both teams drew 13 fouls apiece – 19 each, overall – with Bayless doing the bulk of the work for Arizona and the Lopez twins for Stanford. Because of that, the teams combined to shoot 37 foul shots in the second half, although Bayless felt like more of his drives should have been rewarded.

    “”It was definitely frustrating,”” he said. “”We’re not used to that. We’re on our home court, and it seemed like we couldn’t get a call tonight. I don’t know what the deal was, it just seemed like everything was going their way.””

    During the whistle-happy half, it took UA forward Jordan Hill just over eight minutes of court time to foul out from the time he picked up his first foul three minutes into the half.

    His final foul came eight seconds after sitting for 3:39 on a play in which he had his arms straight up after Robin Lopez charged into him, prompting negative chants from the student section and for Musburger to describe it as “”a terrible call.””

    “”Some of the fouls I got were bad calls, but it’s the refs’ decision, I’ve got to respect them,”” said Hill, who had not fouled out since Arizona’s season opener Nov. 13 against NAU despite his frequent foul trouble. “”I was very frustrated. I wanted to be out there to help my team. It was just hard to watch them from the sideline.””

    Added UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill: “”It’s unfortunate Jordan fouled out because that put us in a position where we had no real inside scoring threat.””

    Still, Bayless kept the Wildcats in the game with 31 points, his third straight 30-point contest, making him the first Wildcat in school history to enjoy such a run. While the rest of the team struggled, he scored 16 points in a row during a 12-minute period in the second half, while setting a single-game school record for free-throw percentage by hitting all 16 of his foul shots.

    “”I was trying to make plays, whatever we need to do to try to get the lead that’s what I was trying to do,”” Bayless said.

    Budinger picked his game up down the stretch, as all 15 of his second-half points came after Bayless’ outburst starting with a 3-pointer at the 7:23 mark.

    Trailing 62-54 with four minutes left, five points from Budinger and a McClellan trey tied the game before Budinger hit a free throw to cap the 9-0 run.

    “”That’s one thing we’ve done this year well is if we got down to good teams we’ve been able to battle back and really get back in the game and make it close at the end,”” Walters said.

    Although Budinger hit a go-ahead 3 after Brook Lopez put the Cardinal back on top with a free throw and short jumper, the lead was short-lived when Brook got the call on Walters.

    O’Neill said his squad “”played a heck of a game,”” turning the ball over just six times and having a shot to win despite a 40-26 rebounding disadvantage while either forward Jamelle Horne or Fendi Onobun tried to guard a Lopez twin.

    But in the end he had just one thing to say to his team: final score.

    “”It doesn’t matter what officials do, it doesn’t matter what the crowd does,”” he said. “”We’re one point shy of them at the end of the game.””

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