March 06, 2015

Arizona coach Sean Miller said his team's last game featured "one of the great finishes that I've been a part of."

The Wildcats hope their next helps them close the regular season on a high note.

After the disappointment of missing out on its third straight conference championship, 18th-ranked Arizona will try to grab the third seed for next week's conference tournament by logging a 13th straight win over visiting Stanford on Saturday.

Back-to-back losses to Colorado and Utah ended Arizona's bid for another Pac-12 title, but the Wildcats (23-7, 11-6) regrouped with Thursday's wild 64-61 win over No. 25 California.

Arizona scored the final 11 points and erased an eight-point deficit in the final 1:52 to avoid its first three-game skid since the 2009-10 season, Miller's first. Gabe York sank two 3-pointers in the final minute and scored all 19 of his points in the second half, and Kaleb Tarczewski and Ryan Anderson each logged double-doubles.

Still, the Wildcats' seeding possibilities for next week's conference tourney in Las Vegas stretch from Nos. 3-5.

Arizona would earn the third seed with a win and a Golden Bears loss to Arizona State, but it could slip all the way to fifth with a loss and a Buffaloes victory over Utah. If the Wildcats and Cal both win, Arizona would be No. 4.

York's second-half outburst on Thursday was a good sign for the Wildcats entering the season's final push. The senior guard is their third-leading scorer with 14.4 points per game behind Anderson (15.9) and Allonzo Trier (14.8), but he averaged only 9 points on 26.9 percent shooting in Arizona's losses to Colorado and the Runnin' Utes.

''The different people saying that at the end of the game Gabe hasn't necessarily come through, that maybe you need to give the ball to somebody else, et cetera,'' Miller said. ''He looked pretty good at the end of the game (Thursday night), and he's done it more times than you realize.''

Though York only made 6 of 16 shots in a Jan. 21 71-57 win at Stanford, he connected on 4 of 9 3-pointers and led the Wildcats with 19 points. He has averaged 14.3 points in his last four games against the Cardinal and has made 13 of 24 3s in five career meetings.

The latest gave Arizona its 12th consecutive win in this series dating to March 2009, including six in a row in Tucson.

The Wildcats are 16-1 at McKale Center - the one blemish an 83-75 loss to Oregon that ended their 49-game home win streak. Stanford (15-13, 8-9) is 2-7 on the road.

The Cardinal played some of their best basketball of the season in wins over USC and UCLA last week, but a rough first half led to Thursday's 74-64 defeat at Arizona State.

Stanford took a 37-22 deficit into halftime after committing 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

''Give them credit, they made some plays,'' coach Johnny Dawkins said. ''They turned us over a few times and they got out and got some easy baskets. That got them some momentum.''

The Sun Devils' rebounding differential of 38-27 kept the Cardinal from getting close in the second half, and it included 15 Arizona State offensive boards. Arizona leads the Pac-12 with a plus-9.9 differential.

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