San Francisco Chronicle
Cardinal stun Wildcats; 1st win over top-4 since 2007
Spencer Jones scored all 18 of his points in the second half for Stanford and played a key role in neutralizing Pac-12 leading scorer Azuolas Tubelis as the host Cardinal stunned No. 4 Arizona 88-79 on Saturday night.
Stanford (11-14, 5-9 Pac-12) beat a ranked team for the first time this year and a top-four team for the first time since it topped No. 3 UCLA in 2007. Arizona (22-4, 11-4), hoping to stay a half-game behind UCLA for the conference lead, saw its seven-game winning streak snapped.
Courtney Ramey scored 26 points for Arizona, which could not overcome Tubelis’ worst game of the season. The junior forward, who had 40 points against Oregon on Feb. 2 and had averaged a near doubledouble this season (20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds) to lead the conference in both categories, was held to four points. Tubelis did not have a rebound and committed four fouls.
Stanford repeated a game plan that helped the Cardinal stay close in a four-point loss to Arizona in last year’s conference tournament. They gave Arizona the perimeter and aggressively worked to keep the ball away from the 6foot-11 Tubelis and 7-foot center Oumar Ballo, who was limited to eight points.
“They have big-time players, and on the inside, if they get paint touches, there’s nobody in the country who’s going to stop them,” Stanford head coach Jerod Haase said. “So you’ve got to try to find a way to limit the touches inside.”
Stanford’s play led Arizona to attempt 35 3-pointers. The Wildcats made 14, but as Ramey said, “That’s not going to win us a lot of games. When we’re chucking up a lot of 3s, we take it back to the drawing board.”
Stanford’s Michael O’Connell scored a careerhigh 22 points, helping the Cardinal outshoot the Wildcats 61% to 46% from the field. Brandon Angel added 14 points for Stanford, Maxime Reynaud had 13 points and Harrison Ingram contributed 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Jones took command of a back-and-forth in the second half, scoring all 13 of Stanford’s points during a nearly seven-minute stretch that ended with a layup that gave the Cardinal a 67-66 lead with 7:35 remaining.
A 3-point play by Angel extended Stanford’s lead to 70-66 before a Ramey 3pointer cut the lead to one.
But the Cardinal scored the next nine points, punctuating the run with a wideopen 3-pointer by O’Connell that extended their lead to 79-69 with 3:28 left.
“You could feel the energy in the gym,” O’Connell said.