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College basketball

No.1 Wildcats barely survive

©Associated Press
December 16, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Jason Gardner found his jump shot, and his touch from the free-throw line, in the nick of time Sunday and No.1 Arizona survived 73-70 over No.8 Texas.

Gardner scored six of his 13 during the final 2:03, including two 15-foot jumpers that put Arizona up for good, and also drew an offensive foul on T.J. Ford.

Salim Stoudamire led the Wildcats with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range and two free throws that put the Wildcats up 72-67 with 20 seconds to go.

Brian Boddicker's only 3-pointer cut it to 72-70 with 14 seconds left. Gardner made a free throw to give Texas a chance to tie, but Ford's 3-pointer was short. The Longhorns got the rebound, but Brandon Mouton missed a 2-pointer.

Arizona has beaten Texas in seven consecutive seasons, but this one was a struggle as the Longhorns matched the Wildcats' quickness, defensive intensity and depth.

Gardner and Ford are two of the nation's top point guards, but neither shot well. Ford was 5-for-15 and had 13 points and nine assists. Gardner was 5-for-14 with eight rebounds and seven assists. But Ford had six turnovers, Gardner had one.

NO.25 COLL. OF CHARLESTON 66, STETSON 64: Marcus Johnson scored 17 and the visiting Cougars held off a late Hatters charge.

Charleston shot 65 percent in the first in taking a 45-32 lead.

But the Cougars couldn't maintain that shooting percentage in the second, and winless Stetson pulled within striking distance.

The Hatters closed to 61-60 on a basket by Ravii Givens with 5:08 left. What would have been the go-ahead basket was waved off when Derrick Dewitt was called for charging.

Scoring only on free throws, Charleston opened a 66-62 lead with 2:58 left, but Stetson got within two on freshman E.J. Gordon's basket with 1:25 to play.

The Hatters had the final possession, but couldn't get a shot off and Gordon threw an errant pass.

Alexis McMillan and Gordon each had 15 points for the Hatters. Givens, who scored 10, broke the 1,000-point career mark midway through the second.

ACC

TENNESSEE 70, GA. TECH 69: Jon Higgins hit a desperation 3-point shot just beyond half court at the buzzer , giving the Volunteers a win in the Peach Bowl Classic in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets had taken a 69-67 lead with a half-second left on a free throw by B.J. Elder.

Tennessee's Ron Slay then inbounded to Higgins who barely touched the ball as he grabbed it and flung it nearly 50 feet in the air and into the basket.

WAKE FOREST 73, SMU 49: Vytas Danelius had 12 points and 11 rebounds and reserve Jamaal Levy added 12 points as the host Demon Deacons held the Mustangs to 33 percent shooting.

SMU star Quinton Ross, averaging 27 points, was 3-for-15 from the field and finished with 15 -- the first time he's been held under 20 this season.

The Mustangs also didn't improve its shooting from 3-point range. SMU came in at 21 percent from beyond the arc and finished 3-for-17.

C-USA

CHARLOTTE 69, MIAMI 64: Demon Brown scored 15 and hit a last-minute 3-pointer as the host 49ers held on.

Darius Rice had 21 points and eight rebounds and James Jones scored 16 for the Hurricanes, who shot 38 percent as they dropped their third-straight game.

Brown's fourth 3-pointer with 42.9 seconds gave Charlotte a 65-58 lead and ended the Hurricanes' final comeback attempt.

SEC

GEORGIA 95, GONZAGA 83: Jarvis Hayes scored 29, including 14 in a torrid first in which the Bulldogs shot 50 percent and took a 22-point lead on their way to beating the Zags in the Peach Bowl Classic in Atlanta.

Gonzaga played better in the second but never got closer than seven points, and that came in the closing minutes. A basket by Richard Fox got the Zags within 83-76 with 2:22 left, but they never got any closer.

VANDY 81, HIGH POINT 75: Brian Thornton scored a career-high 22 to lead the host Commodores, who went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 35 seconds. Joe Knight scored a career-high 40 for North Carolina's High Point.

State

TENN-MARTIN 63, UCF 58: J.C. Howe scored 25 and made three free throws in the final seconds for the host Skyhawks.

The Golden Knights led 43-36 at the 13:05 mark. It was tied at 30 at halftime.

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