Solid Second Half Puts ASU Back in Win Column

The first half of Wednesday's night contest, would suggest that the maroon and gold were still reeling from their three consecutive losses. However, thanks to a great defensive effort in the second stanza, the Sun Devils were able to separate themselves from the Broncos and capture their Holiday Classic opener with a 64-49 win over Boise State.

Despite jumping to a commanding 13-2 lead after six minutes of play, Arizona State (5-3) couldn't sustain that momentum and let Boise State (5-4) back in the game. The visitors were still trailing 21-11 with over eight minutes left until halftime, but closed out the first period with an 18-8 run to tie the score at 29-29.

The home team came out in the second half blazing out of the gates and went on a 15-4 run in the first eight and half minutes and jumped to a 44-33 margin. With over four minutes left, Boise State were within nine points, 54-45, but that's as close as they would come to closing the gap. The Broncos scored only six field goals in the second half and were held to 25% shooting during that period.

Jeff Pendergraph made his second consecutive start, and led all players on the floor in points (16) and rebounds (7). Kevin Kruger was the only other Sun Devil in double figures with 11. ASU was shooting well from the field at a 52.4% clip and out rebounded Boise State 31-24.

On Thursday night ASU will meet Northern Arizona in the Hoops Classic championship game. The Lumberjacks beat San Francisco 70-66 in the other first-round game tonight.

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