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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cardinal kill Wildcats with size

    Stanford center Robin Lopez falls onto Arizona forward Jordan Hill during the second half of the Wildcats 75-64 loss to the Cardinal last night at the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles. The Wildcats now await Selection Sunday to see if their postseason will be extended into the NCAA Tournament.
    Stanford center Robin Lopez falls onto Arizona forward Jordan Hill during the second half of the Wildcats’ 75-64 loss to the Cardinal last night at the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles. The Wildcats now await Selection Sunday to see if their postseason will be extended into the NCAA Tournament.

    No. 2 Stanford 75, No. 7 Arizona 64

    LOS ANGELES – Any loss against the Stanford men’s basketball team should be measured in feet, not points.

    In that case, No. 2 seed Stanford beat No. 7 seed Arizona by 14 feet last night in day two of the Pacific 10 Conference tournament in Staples Center, thanks to 7-foot twin brothers Brook and Robin Lopez. The Twin Towers helped take down the Wildcats 75-64.

    “”We tried our hardest, but they’re big boys,”” said 6-foot-10 UA forward Jordan Hill. “”I guess our hardest wasn’t good enough.””

    The game was primarily played in the paint, with Stanford scoring 44 points under the hoop and Arizona scoring 26, 16 of which belonged to Hill. Ten of Hill’s points came in the first half, along with all six of his rebounds.

    “”He had a great first half,”” UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill said. “”He just got worn out.””

    The Wildcats did what they could to stop the Lopez twins, but it was far from enough as they led the Cardinal to a 42.9 shooting percentage. Arizona shot 36.4 percent.

    Almost five minutes into the first half, Brook Lopez, who had game highs in points (20) and rebounds (15), went up for a one-handed dunk and missed. Grabbing his own rebound, he tossed up a shot from under the hoop but was stuffed by Hill.

    The Cardinal, however, were able to rebound from the rejection. Literally.

    They pulled down 50 rebounds – the most allowed by Arizona this season – including 21 offensive boards, another season high, and 29 on the defensive end.

    This led to 70 total shots for Stanford, compared to Arizona’s 55. That also meant 20 second-chance points for Stanford.

    “”When the team gets (15) more shots than you do, it’s tough to beat them,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger, who scored 13 and had eight rebounds. “”Against this team, you can’t do that with them. They’ve got two 7-footers hitting the ball up around the rim. They’re gonna get it more.””

    But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a battle for the ball under the hoop every time.

    Two minutes into the second half, Robin Lopez fouled Hill in the post. The incident caused both big men to fall hard, initiating a thud that made the crowd stand up.

    “”They battled for everything that they got,”” said UA guard Jawann McClellan. “”They deserved to win.””

    But it wasn’t always such a lopsided battle.

    The first half was hotly contested, as both teams stayed within four points of each other after the Wildcats opened up the game 6-0 on three field goals in the paint by forward Jordan Hill.

    The Wildcats shot 39.4 percent (13-for-33) from the field in the initial 20 minutes, while the Cardinal drained 41.7 percent (15-for-36) of their shots.

    Stanford took its first lead of the game with a Taj Finger layup with 6:11 remaining in the half. But Jerryd Bayless sank three of his team-high 18 points 20 seconds later, putting the Wildcats back in charge.

    Still, the Cardinal never let up.

    Budinger made a 3 with 3:51 left to give the Wildcats a 29-25 lead, but guard Mitch

    Johnson made the same play on the other end to cut the lead to one.

    Then Bayless made a 3 and Johnson answered again.

    “”They just never gave up,”” McClellan said. “”You can’t do anything about hustle.””

    O’Neill said if his team makes it to the NCAA Tournament and plays another team of similar size, the future looks murky.

    “”The next team that has two 7-foot guys and two 6-foot-7 perimeter guys, they’re gonna kick our ass,”” he said. “”Let’s face it … when it gets later in the game, they’re still gonna be that size.””

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