Devils Defeat Ducks, Sendek Reaches Milestone

James Harden scored 36 points, the most by any player in this year's Pac-10 season, as the Sun Devils win on the road at Oregon 66-57. With the victory, ASU head coach Herb Sendek notched his 300th career win, the second-youngest active coach to notch 300 Division I victories, behind his good friend and Florida's skipper Billy Donovan.

After getting swept at home by the Washington schools, it was imperative that Arizona State (17-5, 6-4 Pac-10) get back to its winning ways against Oregon (6-16, 0-10). It knew that it had to do so without sharp shooter and third leading scorer Rihards Kuksiks who was out with an illness.

The Sun Devils were lucky to have Derek Glasser in the lineup, who was celared to play after suffering a mild concussion last weekend. Even though he didn't practice most of the week, he turned in a solid performance dishing it seven assists.

However, the junior was on the receiving end of a hard pick set by Oregon's Joevan Catron, and as a result Glasser suffered a neck injury with just over a minute and half left in the game. He laid motionless on the floor for several minutes before he was helped over to the locker room. His availability at this time for the Oregon State game on Saturday is unknown.

Jeff Pendergraph scored eight of his 13 points in the first half, as the lead in the game switched sides on 12 occasions in that period and was tied a handful of times. The Sun Devils were able to give themselves a little cushion as they held the Ducks to just four points in the last six plus minutes of the half, and sported a 32-27 lead midway through the game.

Back-to-back three pointers by James Harden (5-10 on the night beyond the arc), who scored 23 of his points in the second stanza, ignited an 8-0 run that gave the visitors a 40-27 lead at the 16:47 mark. Tajuan Porter, who scored a team-high 18 points for Oregon, momentarily disrupted that momentum by ASU with a three-point basket. Nonetheless, the damage was already done.

Oregon was able to shrink the lead to 49-42 with 8:53 remaining in the contest, but Harden, who scored at least 30 points for the fifth time this season, engineered another run where he scored seven points in his team's 9-2 run that sealed the game's fate and denied the hosts their first conference win of the year.

ASU on the other hand snapped a two-game losing streak, much thanks to limiting Oregon to 7-20 shooting from the field in the second half. Pendergraph paced all players with eight caroms as the hosts held a 25-20 advantage on the glass. The Sun Devils were also near flawless on the line converting 16-17 free throws.

The maroon and gold will face Oregon State in Corvallis at 6:30 pm MT on Saturday. The Beavers saw their four-game winning streak end on Thursday as they were edged by Arizona 56-53.

This is a contest that was going to present a mighty challenge for the Sun Devils even if they had their full allotment of players. Now with the availability of Glasser and Kuksiks in question Saturday's night game can prove to be even a steeper hurdle to overcome.


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