TUCSON, Ariz. — With one swish through the net after another, Gabe York said a magnificent goodbye to McKale Center.
York, a senior playing in his final home game, made nine 3-pointers to tie the school and McKale record and scored a career-high 32 points in No. 18 Arizona’s 94-62 rout of Stanford on Saturday.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said, “So the fact that it got to end like this, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s something that kids dream about.”
The shooting masterpiece capped a big final week of play at home for York, who made three straight 3-pointers, including the game-winner with 19 seconds to go, late in Thursday night’s 64-61 over No. 25 California.
It followed an awful trip to Utah and Colorado, where York was 7-for-26 shooting and 2-for-10 on 3s. He said he came back and worked hour after hour shooting in the gym this week.
What followed were two of the best games of his career.
“It’s a storybook ending for sure,” York said.
The Wildcats also set a school record by making 18 3s on Saturday in 36 attempts.
“I haven’t been part of a game where the ball went in like that,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “It just felt like every shot that was going to go up from 3 was going in.”
Arizona’s victory clinched at least the No. 4 seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, meaning the Wildcats (24-7, 12-6 Pac-12) will get a first-round bye.
Roscoe Allen and Marcus Allen scored 16 apiece for Stanford (15-14, 8-10).
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski — both seniors — added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Arizona.
But it was York’s show.
The guard from West Covina, California, made his first four 3s — running his streak to seven counting the Cal game — and finished the game 9 for 14 from long-range. The nine 3s tied the record set by Salim Stoudemire against Oregon State on Feb. 20, 2005.
“I wish I had known he had tied the record,” Miller said. “I would have tried to keep him out there for one more 3. It would have been great to see him beak it.”
During a remarkable 54-second span, York made three 3-pointers. The last, to thunderous cheers from the capacity crowd, put Arizona up 62-33 with 13:15 to play.
York said some fans who had been coming to games for 30 or 40 years told him they’d never heard McKale louder than it was for his game-winner against Cal.
But during that 54-second barrage on Saturday, he said, “I think it was even louder.”
York trampled his previous bests of six 3-pointers and 24 points.
The 18 3s broke the team record of 16 set against USC on Feb. 16, 2002. Twelve of the 3s on Saturday came in the second half, also a school record.
Fourth-year walk-on Jacob Hazzard made three late 3s in seven minutes on the court to help push the Wildcats past the team mark.
Arizona led from the opening basket.
York’s fourth 3-pointer without a miss gave the Wildcats a 30-15 lead with 6:41 to play.
The basket started a 6-2 spurt that gave Arizona its biggest lead of the half, 36-17, when Tarczewski made one of two free throws with 2:49 to play. York finally missed one in the final seconds of the first half and the Wildcats led 40-24 at the break.
The lead reached 39 in the second half. It was Stanford’s most one-sided loss of the season.
“It was a tough game for us,” Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We have to go back and look at the film and see areas that we need to improve on. Our defensive rebounds were not as good as they needed to be and we need to get better at defending a 3-point line.”