Devils End Season with a Loss to Archival

It was a predictable end to an unpredictable season as Arizona routed Arizona State 106-81.

The Sun Devils held their own against the home team for long periods of the first half. A three pointer by Kevin Kruger gave the visitors an 11-8 edge at the 15:24 mark. Chris Rodgers' long-range basket capped off an 18-4 run to put the Cats up 26-15 with 12:11 left in the half. The Sun Devils stormed back with 10-0 run to cut down the lead to 26-25 at the 7:47 mark. However, this is as close as ASU would get on the afternoon. Arizona's red-hot shooting helped them outscore the visitors 20-7 to end the half with a 46-32 lead. The second half was much less eventful. U of A's margin never dipped below double digits, and with seven minutes or so remaining in the game, it rarely went below 20 points.

Kruger led all players with a career-high 22 points; the first time this season the redshirt freshman ever led the Devils in scoring. Ike Diogu finished the season as the conference's leading scorer and second leading rebounder. His 19 points and game high 14 rebounds undoubtedly aided him in this feat. Steve Moore was the only other Sun Devil in double figures scoring 19 points as well. ASU did edge Arizona on the glass 39-34, but the Cats did their damage out-shooting the Devils 54.2% to 43.8% from the floor. Hassan Adams and Salim Stoudamire paced the home team with 21 points apiece.

With no trip to the conference tournament, the off-season has officially started for Rob Evans' team as of late Sunday afternoon. The next seven or so months will be a time for every team member to take a long look in the mirror, come to some harsh and honest conclusions, and learn from the mistakes of the 2003-04 season yet not dwell upon them. Success can sometimes lead to complacency. On that note, ASU's failures should do nothing but create a great sense of urgency to correct the squad's shortcomings and fuel an appetite for achieving better results in the future.

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