TUCSON, Ariz. -- Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins doesn't believe in moral victories. Neither does junior forward Josh Huestis.
But both walked out of McKale Center on Wednesday night after a 73-66 loss to No. 7 Arizona trying to think positive.
"I think, for about 35 minutes, we showed that we can play with anybody in the country," Dawkins said. "We competed and played very hard. It just wasn't enough."
Added Huestis: "I don't think moral victories exist, but it is good to leave here knowing that we can play at a high level."
For the majority of the game, Stanford (14-9, 5-5 Pac-12) went bucket for bucket with the Wildcats.
Huestis hit a jumper with 5:43 left to give the Cardinal a five-point lead at 54-49. The McKale Center crowd was starting to get nervous, and Dawkins, Huestis and the rest of the Cardinal were starting to gain confidence.
Then, the Wildcats (20-2, 8-2) started running.
Solomon Hill hit a 3-pointer and then hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to tie the game at 54.
Angelo Chol and Mark Lyons then hit back-to-back layups to extend the lead to 58-54 and complete a 9-0 run for the Wildcats.
"We let up defensively the last few minutes big time," said Dwight Powell, who led Stanford with 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. "We had our chance, but we didn't get enough stops late and we didn't play as well on that end as we had all game."
Stanford still fought late. Aaron Bright nailed a 3-pointer with 3:20 remaining to get it back to a one-point game. But, just 24 seconds later, Lyons answered with a 3 of his own to stretch it back to four.
The Cardinal never got closer and Arizona stretched its lead to as many as nine points.
"They are a great team and they played up to it," Dawkins said. "Sean (Miller) is a great coach and we knew how difficult of a game this was going to be."
Chasson Randle, who came into the game as the team's second leading scorer at 14.2 points per game, struggled in his 37 minutes. He was 3 for 11 from the floor for 11 points.
"Randle gets a lot of attention from opposing defenses, and he just had a tough night tonight," Dawkins said. "He's still a very young player who is figuring it out. He'll be just fine."
Huestis had a double-double in the loss with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Bright added 16 points and was 4 of 7 from 3-point distance.
Lyons led the Wildcats with 25 points and six assists. The senior missed just four shots from the field all night. Hill added 23 points and six rebounds.