Devils Suffer Heartbreaking Loss at Home

Doing the little things to win is one of sports biggest clichés. Yet, it's a saying that proves true time and time again. USC's Gabe Pruitt missed a shot with under five seconds left in the game. All ASU had to do is secure the rebound which in all probability would notch a win in their conference home opener.

Alas, Ryan Francis was able to collect the precious rebound, and kick it out to teammate Lodrick Stewart. As fate would have it, Stewart's only points on the night came in a game winning basketball behind the arc, as his team squeaked by the Sun Devils 66-65.

Arizona State (6-6, 0-3 Pac-10) had the lead for most of the first half, much thanks to Serge Angounou who scored 12 of his 19 points in the first stanza. At the 12:18 mark the game was tied at 13 apiece, but with 8:26 left until halftime the maroon and gold were up 21-15. USC (11-3, 2-1) had a one-point lead at times late in the half, but were scoreless the last 2:20 minutes which helped the home team have a 34-31 lead going into the locker room.

With 16:41 left in the game ASU enjoyed its biggest edge on the night, leading 43-34. An impressive 15-5 run by the visitors had them enjoying a slim 49-48 lead at the 10:21 mark. Thanks to Bryson Krueger (11 points in the second half) and Jeff Pendergraph, the Devils had a 63-57 lead with just over two minutes left in the contest. However, a trio of three pointers by Pruitt, Nick Young and the after mentioned Stewart not only closed the gap but gave the Trojans their first Pac-10 road win.

Angounou paced ASU with 19 points. Pendergraph had 16 along with his team-high eight rebounds and three blocks. Krueger with 14 and Kevin Kruger with 11 were the only Devils in double figures. Tyrone Jackson didn't record a point but had a career-high nine assists. Pruitt and Young combined for 54 points (30 and 24 respectively) out of USC's 66.

"I thought the kids played well enough to win the basketball game," said coach Rob Evans. "It's unfortunate that the loose balls we needed to come up with, we didn't come up with. The first shot didn't beat us, the second one did. We also had late turnovers in the game and that decided the ball game. We have to come out tomorrow and regroup for Saturday."

Up next for the Devils is a Saturday home game against UCLA. Tip-of is 2PM MT.

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