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Updated: Friday, February 28, 2003 2:45 AM EST
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(1) Arizona 88, (21) California 75
Arizona Wildcats
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California Golden Bears
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BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Salim Stoudamire, Luke Walton and Arizona were not intimidated by California's lengthy home winning streak.

Stoudamire and Walton each scored 20 points as the top-ranked Wildcats snapped the 21st-ranked Golden Bears' 17-game winning streak at Haas Pavilion with an 88-75 Pac-10 Conference victory.

"Luke Walton and Salim Stoudamire played almost flawless basketball tonight," California coach Ben Braun said.

Channing Frye and Jason Gardner added 15 points apiece for Arizona (22-2, 14-1 Pac-10), which remained 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Stanford and dropped California (19-6, 12-4) 2 1/2 games back in the conference race. The Wildcats have won the last nine games in the series.

"It gets crazy here but all the guys love that," Gardner said. "We love coming in with crazy crowds like this, with all sorts of signs and heckling, and that's what college basketball is all about and that's what we love."

Stoudamire and Walton each shot 7-of-9 from the floor, with Stoudamire tying a career high with six 3-pointers. Both players had 12 points in the first half as the Wildcats jumped to a 46-35 advantage.

"Salim bailed them out time and time again by hitting the big shots," Braun said. "He's a pressure player, he's very confident and he shows you what he's all about."

California got within 60-57 on a jumper by Conor Famulener with 11:10 remaining, but Walton countered with a follow layup to commence a 13-4 burst over the next 6 1/2 minutes. Arizona led by double digits thereafter.

"We've been a team, all year, of runs," Olson said. "We're a momentum team. When Cal made a good run, we did a good job to stop them. When they got close, we hit key free throws."

"We tried to keep the pressure on teams and make those types of runs," Walton said. "When you're on the road and you can make a run like that, that's what separates you from other teams, and I think it all has to do with our defense."

It was the Wildcats' ninth consecutive road triumph and seventh in a row overall.

"The leadership of seniors is so vital," Olson said of Walton and Gardner. "They make big plays down the stretch. ... We've played four consecutive games in which we played our best."

"Those guys are veterans and they've been in every situation," Braun said. "Jason Gardner quietly played his game and he was solid as a rock."

Brian Wethers scored 18 points, Joe Shipp had 17 and Amit Tamir 16 for the Golden Bears, who had the only perfect home-court mark in the Pac-10 and had not lost here since a 68-58 defeat to Arizona on January 31, 2002.

"We learned a lot from this game," Wethers said. "We feel that we can compete with them, but we just need to get over the hump with handling their spurts and adjusting to their defensive scheme. But it was an exciting game."

"Joe Shipp was sick tonight," Braun said. "He willed himself to play and I admire his effort. "He played through fatigue and sickness - it's not an excuse, it's just one of those things. It's not why we lost, I give Arizona a lot of credit."

Arizona shot 52 percent (26-of-50), including 53 percent from the arc (10-of-19), while California connected on 43 percent (29-of-68) overall and 23 percent from 3-point range (5-of-22).

"We've got to take it for what it is - we gave a good effort, but they're a great team," Braun said. "They're definitely the best team we've seen, top to bottom, start to finish. "Everyone who's played them has to agree with me."

"I think they've been in this situation before and they're the No. 1 team in the country," Wethers said. "It's not much you can say. I thought we gave a great effort, but the best team won tonight."

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