Devils Trounce Trees in Pac-10 Opener

You think Jeff Pendergraph was happy to face a Lopez Twins-free Stanford team? The ASU forward raked in the benefits of his team's size advantage, and had a career high 31 points along with 11 rebounds as the Sun Devils opened conference play routing Stanford on the road 90-60. The loss was the Cardinal's first one of the season.

Appropriately enough, James Pendergraph scored the first basket of the game on a dunk, and granted Arizona State (12-1, 1-0 Pac-10) a lead that they would never relinquish for the rest of the night. Lawrence Hill, who paced his squad with 14 points, brought Stanford (10-1, 0-1) within a point, 9-8, at the 14:34 mark, but that as close as the hosts would get.

Pendergraph scored 17 points in the last 7:30 minutes of the first half, and his 21 points in this period helped the Sun Devils go down to the locker room with a 43-30 lead. The senior also had three blocks in the Devils' conference opener. ASU shot 60 percent from the field in the first half.

The double digit advantage lasted the entire second stanza, thanks in large to James Harden who scored all of his 17 points in the last eighteen minutes. The All-American sophomore broke his scoring drought at the 17:48 mark, and had a solid all-around night with game highs in both assists (ten) and steals (three).

With 11:41 left in the game a three-point basket by Jamelle McMillan awards the maroon and gold a 20-point lead, 65-45. At the 5:39 mark Harden's layup makes it an even 30-point advantage, 82-52.

Derek Glasser was the only other ASU player in double digit scoring with 13. Eric Boateng Contributed eight points from the bench and was perfect 4-4 from the field. McMillan had eight points as well.

ASU shot 59 percent from the field and 46.2% (6-13) from beyond the arc. Stanford was just 37.5 percent and -18 in the same categories. The visitors also had a 34-26 edge in rebounds.

Undoubtedly, the Sun Devils couldn't have asked for a better start in Pac-10 play. While ASU had hoped for a split in this weekend's series, it knows that a win over Cal (who beat 69-55 tonight) on Sunday would mean much more than an impressive sweep in the Bay Area.

It would be further validation that the maroon and gold, despite some bumps in the road in the non-conference schedule, can live up to lofty expectations placed on them in the pre-season.

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