ASU Pounds Princeton

What a difference a day makes. After being embarrassed the night before by Illinois, it was time for Arizona State to be on the winning end of a rout. James Harden and Ty Abbott nearly tripled their combined output from Monday night, and gave the Sun Devils their first win of the season, 61-42, as they manhandled Princeton Tuesday afternoon.

Ty Abbott had the hot hand early, and sank in a trio of successive shots beyond the arc to give Arizona State (1-1) a 15-9 edge at the 12:00 minute mark. His fourth three-point basket of the half saw the Devils take a 23-15 lead with 7:42 left in the first stanza.

Princeton's Marcus Schroeder's lay-up claimed the lead for the Tigers 25-23 at the 3:55 mark. James Harden who didn't score a field goal for the first 12 minutes, scored four points in the last two minutes and along with Eric Boateng's four points reclaimed the lead for good, and gave the maroon and gold a 31-27 halftime lead.

A Sun Devil 11-2 run to begin the second half, behind the scoring of Abbott and Harden, gave ASU a 42-29 lead at the 14:29 mark. The maroon and gold zone defense continued to frustrate Princeton, while their outside shooting effectively broke down the Tigers' zone scheme. In fact, Princeton was limited to just two points, both free throw baskets, over the last 6:54 minutes of the contest.

Harden brought down the house with a one-handed dunk to make it 55-40, and Abbott's two free throws, increased the margin to 20, 60-40, with just under three minutes to play, as ASU cruised to their inaugural victory of the 2007-08 campaign.

Harden led all players with 22 points on 8-12 shooting. Abbott was 5-7 from three-point range and added 19 points. Boateng and Jerren Shipp each had five rebounds, and Derek Glasser tallied five assists off the bench. The Sun Devils were red-hot today shooting 51.1 percent from the field, including 6-for-13 beyond the arc.

ASU held Princeton to 33 percent from the field and had a big hand in their 15 turnovers. Marcus Schroeder led the Tiger scores with 12 points.

The Sun Devils will face the Tigers again in Maui, but this time it will be LSU who they will be matched up against in their last game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational tournament. Tip-off is Wednesday at Noon MT and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

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