Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats best-play hoops countdown: Another big shot by Stoudamire in 2005 beats UCLA




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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 44 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 was the nation's best three-point shooter in 2004-05

Salim Stoudamire was the nation’s best three-point shooter in 2004-05

A debate in 2004-05 involved the question of who was the better shooter in college — Arizona’s Salim Stoudamire or Duke’s J.J. Redick.

UCLA, Oklahoma State and ASU could attest that Stoudamire had the upper-hand with how the left-handed sharp-shooting guard beat them with pressure-filled shots in the waning seconds of games that season.

Against the Bruins at McKale Center on Jan. 15, 2005, Stoudamire capped a 24-point second half with a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to give Arizona a 76-73 victory. A noted Lute Olson doghouse resident for some of his career, Stoudamire found himself there on the bench again by an angered Olson before he turned it on in the second half.

“I was upset in the first half and it affected my game,” Stoudamire told the Associated Press. “In the beginning of the second half, the coach took me out. I sat and thought about many instances where this had happened. … I just told myself, ‘You’ve got to pick it up from this point.’ And I did.”

UCLA’s Aaron Afflalo made a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 73 with 16 seconds to play in regulation. Stoudamire calmly dribbled the ball up court, then let fly a shot over Afflalo far beyond the 3-point line for the game-winner.

“I just didn’t want to foul,” Afflalo told the AP. “He was about 30-plus feet out. I figured he would at least, with 6 seconds left, penetrate and maybe pull up then. I didn’t think he would walk and shoot from the volleyball line or wherever he shot it from.”

Stoudamire, who entered the game as the No. 2 3-point shooter in the country at 56.2 percent, finished with 32 points against UCLA. He scored 24 of the Wildcats’ final 29 points.

“He is the best shooter in the country, hands down,” Olson told the AP. “They talk about the guy at Duke (Redick), but I will put Salim up against him anytime.”

Stoudamire, who scored 34 points the previous time he played UCLA, is the cousin of former Arizona standout and current assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who set a Portland Trail Blazers franchise record with 54 points the night before Salim’s performance against UCLA.

“I watched the game, actually,” Stoudamire told the AP. “That definitely inspired me.”

After Stoudamire’s 3-pointer from the top of the key put the Wildcats up, Arizona’s Hassan Adams stole a UCLA pass and was fouled. Arizona was called for a technical foul when two players rushed the court in celebration with 1.2 seconds left.


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

Derrick Williams’ emphatic blocked shot against Washington in 2011 saves game for Arizona.
Khalid Reeves’ coast-to-coast game-winner with less the five seconds left beats Stanford at Maples Pavilion in 1992.
Steve Kerr’s first shot after father’s assassination in 1984, a 25-foot jumper against ASU, gives him hero status in Tucson and contributes to Arizona’s emergence in the Pac-10.
Sean Rook’s last-second bank shot at Stanford in 1991 gives the Wildcats a 78-76 victory.
Salim Stoudamire’s game-winning jumper against Oklahoma State in the 2005 Sweet 16.
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.


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Jordan Farmar of UCLA missed both free throws, then Adams missed his two. The game ended before the Bruins could get off another shot.

Stoudamire was 9-of-11 from the field in the second half, most of the shots mid-range jumpers, and was 11-for-16 for the game. He also made all six of his free throws.

“Stoudamire was so hot they were just playing to him,” UCLA coach Ben Howland told the AP, “getting him shots and he was making them. He was very, very good.”

Stoudamire scored 17 of his team’s 18 points in a 9½-minute stretch in the second half, while the Bruins went 9:16 without a field goal, missing 11 consecutive shots.

For the record, Stoudamire finished first nationally in three-point shooting (52.5 percent) in 2004-05 among players who played at least 20 games that season. Redick was not in the top 100 with a percentage of 40.3 beyond the arc.


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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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