TUCSON, Ariz. (AP)—Salim Stoudamire felt himself going into one of his infamous mental funks against UCLA, but talked himself out of it. What followed was one of the greatest shooting performance of the college basketball season.
Stoudamire capped a 24-point second half with a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to give No. 17 Arizona a 76-73 victory over UCLA on Saturday, snapping the Bruins’ four-game Pac-10 winning streak.
“I was upset in the first half and it affected my game,” Stoudamire said. “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.”
The left-handed senior, who entered the game as the No. 2 3-point shooter in the country at 56.2 percent, finished with 32 points. He scored 24 of the Wildcats’ final 29 points.
“He is the best shooter in the country, hands down,” Arizona coach Lute Olson said. “They talk about the guy at Duke (J.J. Redick), but I will put Salim up against him anytime.”
Stoudamire, who scored 34 points the last time he played UCLA, is the cousin of Damon Stoudamire, who set a franchise record with 54 points for the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
“I watched the game, actually,” Stoudamire said. “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, though, when two players rushed the court in celebration with 1.2 seconds left.
“We have to work on telling our freshmen to not go on the floor until the game is over,” Olson said.
However, Jordan Farmar of UCLA missed both free throws, then Adams missed his two, and 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.
Channing Frye added 15 points for the Wildcats (14-3, 4-1), all in the first half. Ivan Radenovic scored eight points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds for Arizona.
Dijon Thompson led UCLA with 27 points on 10-for-16 shooting and had 10 rebounds. Farmar added 15 points and Arron Afflalo had 13 for the Bruins (10-4, 4-2), who shot 61 percent (17-for-28) in the first half but just 27 percent (8-for-30) in the second.
“They stepped up their intensity, and we just missed shots,” Farmar said. “We had a lot of good looks that we missed, but a lot of credit to them, they played hard in the second half.”
The Bruins committed 23 turnovers in losing at McKale Center for the eighth consecutive season.
“Stoudamire was so hot they were just playing to him,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said, “getting him shots and he was making them. He was very, very good.”
Stoudamire scored 17 of his team’s 18 points in a 9 1/2 -minute stretch in the second half, while the Bruins went 9:16 without a field goal, missing 11 consecutive shots.
He scored the first 12 points in a 15-3 run that put Arizona up 68-61 on Adams’ steal and three-point play with 4:04 to go.
Frye’s goaltending on Thompson’s short jumper ended UCLA’s field goal drought and triggered a 7-0 spurt that tied it at 68 when Thompson made two free throws with 1:38 to go. Stoudamire sank two free throws to give Arizona a 70-68 lead with 1:28 left, and two more with 50 seconds remaining to put the Wildcats ahead 72-68. Mustafa Shakur made one of two free throws to make it 73-68 with 40 seconds left.
But Thompson made a 10-footer, then Adams threw the ball away against UCLA’s press and Afflalo hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it at 73 with 16 seconds to play.
Stoudamire calmly dribbled the ball up court, then let fly far beyond the 3-point line for the game-winner.
Freshman Arron Afflalo acknowledged he gave Stoudamire too much room. But Afflalo had seen Stoudamire dribble past him for pull-up jumpers, and get fouled going to the hoop.
“I just didn’t want to foul,” Afflalo said. “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.”
UCLA led most of the game but never by more than eight points.