Devils season ends in loss to Cardinal

Normally the Pac-12 tournament hasn't been kind for the Sun Devils and tonight once again the Staples Center continued to be the House of Horrors for ASU. For a third straight year the maroon and gold couldn't advance past the first round, as they were routed by Stanford 85-65 Wednesday night in Los Angles in a game that ended the Sun Devils' 2011-12 campaign.

The game's fate was sealed early on in the contest. Arizona State (10-21) drew first blood with a three-pointer by Jonathan Gilling, but that was also their only lead of the game. Behind 27 first-half points by Chasson Randle, who set a Pac-12 tournament record with that feat, Stanford (21-10) already enjoyed a 20-10 advantage at the 11:39 mark, led by as many as 26 points in that period and went down to the locker room with a commanding 50-30 lead.

Even though slow starts have been commonplace for the Sun Devils this year, head coach Herb Sendek didn't know why his squad was once again slow out of the gates.

"I thought defensively we were on our heels early," Sendek stated. "They were very much the aggressor. Obviously we ran into a tremendous performance by a fantastic young player in Randle, and we just never were able to regroup."

"We didn't come out ready to play," junior guard Trent Lockett confessed. "They're a very physical and aggressive team and they put us on our heels. Unfortunately we picked it up in the second half, but it was far too late.

"Randle's obviously a great player. He really got to the line a lot in the first half. I think that got him going. He hit open shots. He's a great player. He really looked to push it in transition as well."

The second stanza saw ASU play with more purpose, but matching Stanford basket for basket (both teams scored 35 points each) was obviously too little too late for the Sun Devils. A Chris Colvin jumper cut down the deficit to 62-48 at the 15:09 mark, but that was as close as ASU would get to mounting a comeback.

Chanse Creekmur came off the bench and scored 13 points to pace ASU. Jordan Bachynski added 11 points and tied a team-high with five rebounds. The Sun Devils shot 40 percent from the field but missed 11 free throws shooting just 62.1 percent from the charity stripe. Randle led all players with 30 points in only 28 minutes of play and converted 6-8 three pointers.

As the curtain comes down on what was naturally a very disappointing season for ASU, all that is left for the squad is to put all their energy and focus into what has to be a productive off-season.

"It will be an opportunity for us to evaluate everything, to learn as much as we can," Sendek said of the off-season, "and hopefully our players will have a great work ethic throughout the off season. During the off season it's really up to them to be self-motivated because of all the great limitations we have and what we can do with them, then just putting together a great plan for next season, which we always try to do between seasons."

"Overall going into the off season we have obviously plenty of motivation," Lockett commented. "I don't think anybody should have a reason not to work hard this off season."

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