"The other thing that we've been talking about consistently – we made shots. We were 11-18 from three (point range)…and then we made our free throws. So just putting the ball in the basket allowed us to stay in the game tonight and we did so with balance."
Arizona State (19-5, 8-4 Pac-10) showed its offensive prowess early on in the game, as they led UCLA (19-5, 8-3) 21-10 near the mid-point of the first half. Nonetheless, 11first half turnovers by the hosts brought the Bruins right back into the game, as they outscored the Sun Devils 25-14 the rest of the period and tied the game at 35 apiece when Michael Roll beat the buzzer with a shot beyond the arc.
In the second stanza it seemed as if the momentum shifted in favor of UCLA. However, ASU cut down on their turnovers, and never allowed the Bruins to lead by more than four points. The Sun Devils led for the fist time in the half with just over eight minutes, 57-56.
The lead would change hands eight more times, until a three-point basket by Derek Glasser made it 69-67 with 1:14 left.
As Rik Kuksiks tried the inbound the ball after a UCLA turnover, Alfred Aboya poked the ball away from his hand which caused a technical foul to be assessed on the visitors. Glasser drained his two shots from the charity stripe, and after dishing out an assist for a Jeff Pendergraph dunk sealed just the third ever sweep of UCLA in 31 years.
Glasser and James Harden scored 15 points each to lead Arizona State. Harden had a career high in assists with 11, which was negated to an extent by his eight turnovers. Pendergraph and Kuksiks (4-5 from three-point range) had 14 each, and Ty Abbott who came off the bench got out of his shooting slump tonight pouring in 12.
Pendergraph paced all players with nine rebounds, and ASU controlled the glass to the tune of 26-20. The Sun Devils committed 17 turnovers, but just six in the second half, and registered 22 assists on 24 field goals. UCLA's Josh Shipp led all players with 16 points.
ASU will enjoy a rare extra day off between pac-10 opponents, as they host USC on Sunday night at 8:00 pm. The Trojans lost at Tucson tonight 83-76.
"That extra day just gives you a little more time to prepare," Sendek said. "But one thing that's always true about both teams is that it's the same for both teams. We'll have a lot of work to do to get ready for Sunday night, that's for sure."