Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats best-play countdown: Determined Terry topples third-ranked Stanford with game-winning shot in 1999




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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 31 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):

Jason Terry was a national player of the year in 1999 but his number at Arizona has yet to be retired ( graphic)

Jason Terry was a national player of the year in 1999 but his number at Arizona has yet to be retired ( graphic)

Arizona senior All-American guard Jason Terry, who was patient with his role as the sixth man for most of his career, finally became the Wildcats’ No. 1 threat in the 1998-99 season

Third-ranked Stanford bore the brunt of Terry’s uprising and heroics in Arizona’s 78-76 win over the Cardinal at McKale Center. He made what proved to be the game-winner in one of the most memorable struggles in front of the frenzied crowd in Tucson.

”There’s not a lot of players I have ever coached that I’d rather take the last shot than J.T.,” Lute Olson told Steve Rivera of the Tucson Citizen. ”He is so competitive. He’ll find a way to put it in.”

Terry looked forward to the match-up against Stanford’s Art Lee, who some believed may be the best point guard in the league. Terry responded with a game-high 29 to lead Arizona to an improbable win against Stanford, a team that was on a 13-game winning streak and appeared capable enough to run the table in the Pac-10.

”That’s what you expect from him, to hit that last-second shot,” Arizona freshman Richard Jefferson said. “He’s always been there for us in the crunch time.”

Terry started his drive to the basket against Kris Weems with five seconds left in regulation and nailed the game-winning shot in the lane with only 3.4 seconds left. After Stanford coach Mike Montgomery called a timeout and diagrammed a potential game-winning play for Weems, the Cardinal guard threw up an airball from 35 feet as time expired.

Stanford fell to 17-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Arizona was 14-3 and 6-2.

”I wanted this one real bad,” Terry said. ”I’m a senior now. My teammates had an excellent game so I rewarded them with that shot.”


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

Mark Lyons’ driving, one-handed shot in the waning seconds against No. 5 Florida in 2012 gives Sean Miller a signature victory.
Nic Wise’s game-winning last-second shot in double-overtime against USC in 2010 puts satisfying cap to tumultuous career
Richard Jefferson’s tap-in at the buzzer off Jason Terry’s missed three-pointer beats Washington in 1999.
Loren Woods’ three blocked shots in succession — like rapid fire, one after the other within a five-second span — against Oregon in 2000.
Michael Wright’s shot in the lane with three seconds left topples No. 1 Stanford at Maples Pavilion in 2001.
Eddie Smith’s game-winning three-point play with two seconds left caps a furious last-minute rally at ASU in 1985.
Eddie Smith’s bank shot at the buzzer beats ASU 65-64 in Tempe in 1984 and sets Lute Olson’s dominant program in motion.
Salim Stoudamire’s jumper with six-tenths of a second left beats ASU in Tempe in 2005.
Nick Johnson gives Arizona fans Christmas Day gift with game-saving blocked shot against San Diego State in 2012.
MoMo Jones’ 16-foot bank shot at the buzzer in 2010 adds to New York flavor of Arizona winning shots at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion.
Chris Mills’ buzzer-beating jumper in regulation gives Arizona life in its 105-94 overtime victory over UCLA in 1991.
Kenny Lofton’s behind-the-back, double-pump dunk caps rout of Oregon in 1988, ranks as one of college hoops’ best dunks of that season.
Salim Stoudamire’s game-winning long-distance three-pointer downs UCLA in 2005.
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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Some of the McKale Center crowd that stormed the court after the win, which is an uncommon sight at that arena.

”It was hard to guard Jason Terry on that last shot,” Montgomery said. ”He shot a tough shot but he is just hard to defend. When it is tied, that is exactly what you do. He made the plays he needed to make.”

Terry also held Lee to 2-of-11 shooting from the field and became the school’s career steals leader in the game. He impeccably engineered Arizona’s execution as the point guard as the Wildcats committed only six turnovers.

”I looked into his eyes before the game, and I’ve never seen him that focused,” teammate Eugene Edgerson said.


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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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