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Cardinal ice game in final 10 minutes

3/19/2004

SEATTLE -- Josh Childress knows this won't cut it for mighty
Stanford.

Childress scored six of his 26 points during a key 12-0 burst
midway through the second half and reserve Matt Haryasz added 10
points, leading the Cardinal to a 71-45 victory over Texas-San
Antonio on Thursday.

"It's not so much that I was trying to take over the game,"
Childress said. "I just wanted to get us going, get the momentum
back on our side."

Stanford (30-1), the No. 1 seed in the Phoenix Regional, won its
first-round NCAA game for the 10th straight year and will play
eighth-seeded Alabama (18-12) in the second round Saturday.

Afterward, however, Cardinal players described how they'll have
to play better. Judging from their 20 turnovers and a slim 40-39
rebounding edge against a much smaller team, it's hard to argue.

"My performance could have been a lot better," Childress said.
"There were a lot of times I played without energy. I really
wasn't aggressive, and it allowed them to back me off. Overall, I
need to be stronger."

Things turned out smoother than Stanford's last visit to
Seattle, a 75-62 loss to the Washington Huskies almost two weeks
ago -- the only blemish on an otherwise perfect season. One fan held
a sign reading, "Ha-ha. 29-1. Go Dawgs."

UTSA coach Tim Carter said Wednesday that the Roadrunners
(19-14), making the school's third trip to the NCAA tournament,
needed "to be part of a miracle" to beat Stanford.

He sure hit the mark, especially after UTSA shot a season-low 23
percent from the field.

"We figured out we couldn't go all the way to the bucket,"
UTSA's Justin Harbert said. "We had to pull up."

Cardinal coach Mike Montgomery got the win, but he sounded
flummoxed again by playing in the Emerald City.

"I thought we did a good job defensively," Montgomery said.
"Their shooting percentage, obviously, wasn't very good but the
thing that hurt us was our inability to rebound the ball. We gave
up 22 offensive rebounds.

"Our energy level was bad. We're getting in little lulls, and I
don't think we're going to have that luxury anymore," he added.

The teams were mismatched from tipoff, with Stanford's imposing
frontcourt of Justin Davis and Rob Little using their long arms to
block shots, clog the passing lanes and soar for rebounds.

Even with Davis or Little on the bench, reserve big men Joe
Kirchofer and Haryasz stepped in. Since the tournament expanded to
16 seeds per region in 1985, no 16th-seeded team has beaten a No.
1, and it wasn't going to happen here.

"If we would have hit some shots, it would have been
interesting," said LeRoy Hurd, who led UTSA with 18 points.

Hurd, the Southland Conference player of the year, went to the
locker room briefly in the second half with a turned right ankle
but returned near the 5-minute mark.

Stanford led 37-23 at the break, but the Roadrunners regrouped
and made things interesting by trimming the margin to 44-38 with
12:14 to play after two baskets by John Millsap during a 9-2 run.

Players on the UTSA bench stood and hopped while the
pro-Washington and pro-Gonzaga crowd roared in delight, ready to
lend its support. Stanford was sloppy, with seven turnovers in the
first six minutes of the second half.

"We didn't do anything right," Little said. "But then you
look at the scoreboard and we won by 30. We have got to be
better."

It had the potential for another Seattle disaster before
Childress, the Pac-10 player of the year, took over and stabilized
things. He hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-0 burst, putting
Stanford up 56-38 with 7:39 remaining.

"A great basketball team," Carter said. "It showed up with
about 12 minutes to go when we came back. We just didn't hit shots
tonight."

After a timeout, Childress made two free throws, Matt Lottich
hit another 3-pointer and Childress scored again to give the
Cardinal a 63-39 lead at the 5-minute mark. He left to a standing
ovation from Stanford fans late in the contest.

"We got to a point where we weren't being the aggressors as a
team," Childress said. "I just got open. Our post guys got some
good screens and I was able to get some open looks. I knocked them
down."

Lottich said: "Josh ran off a lot of points in a row. You
looked up and they had 38 points with 12 minutes to go and 39 with
two. Josh's offense kind of led to a defensive pickup for us."