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Archive for Friday, February 20, 2004

Stanford survives scare from USC

February 20, 2004

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— It's getting tougher and tougher for No. 1 Stanford to stay perfect.

Josh Childress had a career-high 36 points and 11 rebounds, and the Cardinal rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit to beat Southern California, 76-67, Thursday night for its school-record 22nd consecutive victory.

"That was a tough one," Cardinal coach Mike Montgomery said. "That wasn't us at our best, but we fought, we battled, and we made plays when we had to. We're not a team that's going to just blow people out. We have to mind our business, and maybe it's a little bit of a reminder."

Stanford (22-0, 13-0) clinched a share of its fourth Pac-10 title in six years with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

But the threats to perfection have been coming more frequently. The Cardinal rallied from 19 points down and won at Oregon on Jan. 31, then Nick Robinson hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to hold off Arizona on Feb. 7.

"I'm proud of our guys and the way they fought," USC coach Henry Bibby said. "They are the best team in the country, and we had a chance to win."

USC (10-13, 5-9) threatened until the final minutes after Stanford blew an 11-point lead in the second half. The Trojans tied it for the final time at 65 on a basket by Jeff McMillan.

But Childress hit a three-pointer and scored another basket for a 70-65 lead. The Trojans, who had been solid from the free-throw line earlier in the game, made just two of five in the final 1:15 when they trailed by three.

After that, Stanford scored the game's final six points to end USC's hopes.

"SC did a good job. They were smart, and they knew what they were trying to do," Montgomery said. "Nothing has been easy. Every time we play a game it seems we're reminded of that."

No. 14 Arizona 100, Oregon 87

Eugene, Ore. -- Salim Stoudamire had a career-high 37 points, and Arizona won its third straight. Hassan Adams added 26 points and 14 rebounds for Arizona (17-6, 9-5 Pac-10), the league's second-place team behind Stanford. Luke Jackson had a career-high 42 points for Oregon (12-8, 7-6).

No. 18 Georgia Tech 75, Maryland 64

College Park, Md. -- Jarrett Jack scored 21 points, and Georgia Tech earned an important victory at an unlikely venue. Clarence Moore and Will Bynum had 12 points apiece for the Yellow Jackets (19-6, 6-5 ACC), who moved into a third-place tie with Wake Forest by ending a nine-game losing streak at Maryland.

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