Devils Defeat Cardinal, Notch First Pac-10 Win

Following the loss to Arizona in the Pac-10 opener, many felt it was imperative that ASU (12-2, 1-1) come back from its bay area road trip with at least a split. Not only did the maroon and gold do so tonight to the tune of 81-69, but they also gave Rob Evans his first win over Stanford (6-7, 0-3) in his Sun Devil tenure.

Stanford lead 6-4 following a Dan Grunfeld lay-up at the 15:36 mark of the first half but trailed ever since. Eight points in three minutes by Ike Diogu put ASU on top 16-13 with 12:02 remaining in the game. A minute later, the junior picked up his second foul and spent the last nine minutes of the first stanza on the bench. Diogu's substitute Allen Morrill collected six points, and along with two three-point baskets by Steve Moore increased the lead and help establish a 39-31 halftime score.

ASU started the second half in with a flurry of baskets by Moore and Serge Angounou to ignite an 11-5 run that put them ahead 51-36 at the 16:25 mark of the second half. Consequently, their lead was double digits from here on out. Diogu was back in the game and his seven straight points gave the visitors a 58-43 lead with just seven minutes elapsed in the second half. The Cardinal did virtually match the Devils basket for basket, which prevented the lead from ever growing to 20 points or more. Missed free throws by ASU contributed to that as well.

Diogu had his eight double double of the season and paced all players with 28 points, 15 rebounds, as well as three blocks. Moore was the only other ASU player in double figures with 19, including 3-6 from long range. Jason Braxton turned in a nice performance with eight points and seven assists. The Sun Devils shot well from the field at 52.7%, but were a sub par 66.7% from the free throw line. They did just edge Stanford 32-31 on the glass, but more importantly held the home team to 39.1% shooting. Grunfeld lead Stanford with 24 points.

Now that ASU is assured coming back home with the coveted road split, their appetite has undoubtedly grown to wanting a sweep at the northern California schools. On Saturday, they will meat a Golden Bears team that was routed by Arizona 87-67. If Cal's shell shock lingers against the Sun Devils, an improbable 2-1 Pac-10 start isn't out of the question.

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