Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Stanford passes Oregon's test

NCAA BASKETBALL The Cardinal will play Washington in today's championship game after getting past a very determined Ducks squad in the Pac-10 tournament semis


Oregon's Andre Joseph, left, slips under the defence of Stanford's Josh Childress during the first half of the semifinal game of the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles, Friday. The Cardinal (28-1) will play second-seeded Washington in today's championship game


Oregon gave once-beaten Stanford all it could handle for nearly 38 minutes. Then Matt Lottich came up with a game-turning defensive play. Lottich blocked a shot that could have given the Ducks the lead, triggering a 9-2 game-ending run that gave the Cardinal a 70-63 victory in the Pac-10 tournament semifinals Friday night.

"We had to come out with massive energy," said Andre Joseph, who led the Ducks with 16 points. "We did that for the first 37 minutes and kind of broke down for the last three minutes."

The Cardinal (28-1) will play second-seeded Washington in today's championship game. The winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, where No. 2 Stanford could get a top seed in its 10th consecutive appearance.

Josh Childress scored 18 points and contributed to Stanford's smothering defense on Ducks star Luke Jackson, who was held to 12 points -- 9 1/2 below his average.

"They just kind of challenge the guards and make the big guys beat them," Jackson said. "Every time we'd drive in, they had guys collapsing on us."

The fifth-seeded Ducks (15-12) have lost five of their last eight games and are likely headed to the NIT a year after winning the Pac-10 tourney title.

"Hopefully we'll get an NIT bid and continue to play," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said.

Washington 90, Arizona 85

Washington did something to Arizona this season that nobody had in 65 years -- beat the Wildcats three times. In doing so, the Huskies probably locked up a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Nate Robinson scored 11 of his 20 points in the final 6:10 Friday night to lead second-seeded Washington past the third-seeded Wildcats 90-85 in the Pac-10 tournament semifinals.

"Obviously they're a better ballclub than we are -- we're 0-3 against them," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said. "Defensively, it seems like there are six guys out there. When they got shots, they knocked them down."

The Huskies shot 32-of-65 (49.2 percent) including 12-of-25 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Wildcats 40-31.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, shot 30-of-64 (46.9 percent) including an uncharacteristic 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.

"Playing a game against Arizona is just like practice -- we just run up and down the floor with them," Washington's Brandon Roy said. "We came out ahead three times."

The Huskies face top-seeded Stanford in today's championship game at Staples Center, with the winner receiving an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Washington (19-10), which has won 14 of its last 16 games, handed No. 2 Stanford its only loss of the season, beating the Cardinal 75-62 in Seattle last Saturday.


Minnesota 63, Purdue 52

Minnesota coach Dan Monson said his Gophers got pushed around in their two losses to Purdue this season.

At their coach's begging, the Gophers played the part of the bully in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday. Kris Humphries overcame poor shooting with 20 points and 15 rebounds, leading Minnesota to a 63-52 victory over Purdue.

"The first two times we played them, we got backed down physically," Monson said. "That's how they beat people."

Minnesota (12-17) shot 28 percent from the field, but were the aggressors from the start, leading to a big advantage at the free throw line. That allowed the Gophers to advance to the next round against No. 10 Wisconsin on Friday.

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