Oregon Too Much for ASU

The Sun Devils entered Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday with a two-game winning streak and looking to put some distance between themselves and the conference cellar. The Oregon Ducks' athleticism and hot shooting took over the game toward the end of the second half and they never looked back, beating the Devils 98-87 in front of an official crowd of 6,281 on Saturday.

The game was close early, with UO only up by three with eleven minutes remaining in the first half. That didn't last for long, though, as the Ducks' went on a 21-11 run to close out the half. Ernie Kent's team went to the locker room with a comfortable 42-29 lead, aided by ASU missing 13 of its last 17 shots in the period.

The Ducks' hot shooting didn't cool off following the intermission and the second half began with Oregon building a 20-point advantage. However, the Devils showed resiliency once again by scratching and clawing their way back into the game, closing the gap to within seven in the last two minutes of the game.

It looked as if UO's recent history of losing close games may once again plague the team in green and gold (the Ducks lost their last five games by a total of 18 points), but the Devils' couldn't sustain the momentum and the Ducks' free throw shooting accuracy (29-33, 88%) for the night helped them pull away for the double digit win.

One positive ASU fans can take away from the game were the performances by their two impressive freshmen, Sylvester Seay and Jeff Pendergraph, who each scored 21 points in the loss. Additionally, PG Antwi Atuahene posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, despite not starting for the second straight game.

On the down side, the Devils couldn't slow down the "big two" of Malik Hairston and Aaron Brooks. The pair posted 22 and 18 points, respectively. Furthermore, two of the Oregon role players, Chamberlain Oguchi and Maarty Leunen, also had big nights. Oguchi continued his hot shooting on the Arizona road trip by posting 20 points on 7-9 shooting, including hitting six of his first seven three point attempts. Leunen added an inside punch with 17 points and six rebounds.

Next for the Sun Devils is trip to Palo Alto to meet the Stanford Cardinal. Tip-off is set for 8PM AZ time on Thursday.

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