Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown: Stoudamire shoots UA past Oklahoma State in 2005 Sweet 16




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This year’s countdown to tipoff includes an overall look at the best play in Arizona Wildcats history, which will be determined as the days leading up to tipoff. Today marks 49 days until Arizona starts its 2014-15 season against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 14 at McKale Center. Along with the mentioning of the top plays, the countdown will once again display the top players who wore the number that corresponds with the day. The following is the next top play (they will be listed randomly during the countdown until a determination is made in a bracket):


Salim Stoudamire had his share of buzzer-beater or pressure-filled plays near the end of games during his Arizona career.

One of his most memorable was an off-balance jumper from the left side, over the outstretched arms of two defenders with 2.8 seconds left, giving Arizona a 79-78 victory over Oklahoma State in the 2005 Sweet Sixteen in Chicago.

“I thrive on those situations. That’s what I live for,” Stoudamire told the Associated Press afterward. “That’s why I play basketball. Bigtime players step up in bigtime situations, and I see myself as one of those players.”

Oklahoma State got a last chance at victory but John Lucas‘s jumper from the corner went off the rim at the buzzer.

Stoudamire scored 10 of his 19 points in the final 4:35 of the game, in which the Wildcats shot 66 percent from the field (31-of-47). He was scoreless in the second half until six minutes remained. He drove for a basket and then hit two long-range 3-pointers to get Arizona within 76-75.

After a defensive stop, Arizona’s Channing Frye hit a short jumper, putting the Wildcats ahead 77-76 with a minute left.

Joey Graham, who led Oklahoma State with 26 points, then drove to the middle, lowered his shoulder into Ivan Radenovic and dropped in a short shot from the lane to give the Cowboys their last lead at 78-77 with 18.8 seconds left.

After a timeout, Stoudamire waved his hand to clear out the floor and then maneuvered past Daniel Bobik and popped in a jumper from the left side, putting the Wildcats up 79-78 with 2.8 seconds left.


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ARIZONA’S TOP PLAYS LISTED SO FAR (Click on link to access blogs that pertain to the following)

Sean Elliott’s free throw breaks Lew Alcindor’s conference scoring record in 1989.
Craig McMillan’s McClutch shot at the buzzer from full-court pass from Steve Kerr against Oregon State in 1986.
— Arizona 6-10 center Bob Elliott’s 35-foot jumper at the buzzer beats Kansas State in 1973.
Sean Elliott downs Duke with three-pointer over Danny Ferry in last minute in 1989.
Miles Simon’s 65-foot bank shot as time expired to beat Cincinnati in Phoenix in 1996.
Tom Tolbert’s no-look, twisting shot against North Carolina in the 1988 Elite Eight.


“I knew when it came down to crunch time I was going to step up,” Stoudamire told the AP. “I practice that shot everyday. Coach is always on me about going hard, I guess it paid off.”

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[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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