Stoudamire's shooting leaves indelible impression on Tigers NCAA TOURNAMENT

March 27, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Damon Stoudamire's first name is tattooed on his left biceps, but Missouri didn't need any reminders of his identity.

Teammate Khalid Reeves, the Most Outstanding Player in the West Regional, likes to talk about being in a shooting "zone," but it was Stoudamire who lived there yesterday. He buried top-seeded Missouri under three three-pointers in the first nine minutes and never let up in Arizona's 92-72 romp in the regional title game.

Stoudamire averaged 18.1 points in Arizona's first 33 games, but he was coming off one of his worst shooting nights of the season, a 2-for-12 clunker in the regional semifinals against Louisville.

"I wasn't really that effective offensively on Thursday, and I tried to shoot as many jumpers as I could this morning and get my rhythm back," Stoudamire said. "I think the biggest thing that helped me was Bobbie Olson [the coach's wife] didn't predict how many points I was going to score. She usually does."

Stoudamire cooled off in the second half, but he made all four of his three-pointers in the first, when he scored 18 of his game-high 27 points. A 5-foot-11 junior, he also had four assists and tied for game-high honors in rebounding with 10, eight at the defensive end.

"If we got the rebound, we felt we could push the break, especially if one of the guards got the ball," Stoudamire said. "Missouri is a team we felt didn't get back well on defense, and we got a lot of easy buckets in transition. That was probably the difference in the game."

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