Devils Bounce Back, Shock Ducks

Will the real ASU team please stand up? On Thursday night against the ninth place team in the conference, the Sun Devils scored 13 points in the first half. Tonight against one the better teams in the Pac-10, Rob Evans' squad achieved that feat after only five minutes of play. In fact, for the last 28 minutes of the game, Arizona State never trailed and upended Oregon on the road 86-75.

Oregon started the game on a torrid pace; scoring a trio three straight three point baskets, and led 9-2 in just over a minute of play. Jason Braxton and Kevin Kruger answered with some long-range baskets of their own, as ASU grabbed the lead 17-16 at the 14:49 mark of the first half. James Davis gave the home team a 27-23 edge with 10:10 left in the first stanza. From that point on, not only were the Ducks unable to increase their lead, but also allowed Arizona State to take command of the game. Jamal Hill capped a 10-0 run which gave his team 33-27 lead at the 5:21 mark of the first half. Both teams traded baskets until halftime, where the score was 42-34 in favor of the visitors.

The Sun Devils stormed out in the second half with a 10-3 run, much thanks to a pair of three pointers by Hill. Consequently, they enjoyed their biggest lead of the game 52-37 at the 15:55 mark of the second half. Ike Diogu put the Devils ahead 62-52 with 10:26 left in the game, but the Ducks stormed back outscoring their opponent 10-0, and tying the game at 62-62 at the 7:22 mark. Nevertheless, ASU survived that last ditch effort and made 19 free throws down the stretch to shock Oregon and come away with a split on their northwest trip.

Diogu lead all players with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Hill and Kruger provided valuable outside scoring with 18 and 17 points respectively. Serge Angounou added a career high 12 points, and his 32 minutes were also the most he ever played in the maroon and gold. The Sun Devils had a commanding lead on the glass 38-25. They held the Ducks to 41.8%, while shooting at a 50% clip. James Davis led the home team with 18 points.

Some may say this win fits the popular saying "too little too late." However, in a disappointing season such as this, this Sun Devil team will take any kind of victory it can muster. The chances of making the Pac-10 tournament still appear dim, but if ASU continues to pile on the wins, no one will accuse them going down without a fight.

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