OT Loss Ends Devils Winning Streak

Like a classic heavyweight bout, ASU and Washington traded heavy blows on Thursday night in Seattle. Ultimately, the Huskies were the last team standing in a thrilling seesaw contest, as they beat the Sun Devils 73-70 in overtime. The victory gave the hosts a 1 ½ game lead in the race for the conference crown, and has the maroon and gold in a three-way tie for 2nd place.

Arizona State (21-6, 10-5 Pac-10), scored first in the game, but for the rest of the first half played catch up to Washington (21-7, 12-4). The visitors were plagued by nine turnovers and minimal offensive production from any player not named James Harden or Jeff Pendergraph.

At the 12:12 mark of the period, the Huskies enjoyed a 21-8 lead as they continued to defensively frustrate the Devils, while successfully converting at a high clip on offense.

A 12-3 run by ASU cut the deficit to 24-20 with 7:16 remaining. Harden scored 11 of his 15 first half points in the last four minutes of the half and brought his team back as they trailed just 35-34 entering the locker room after twenty minutes.

The Sun Devils struggled offensively as they opened the second stanza, scoring just eight points in the eight or so first minutes of the period. Luckily for the Sun Devils, the Huskies were trying to find offensive success too but couldn't blow the game open and led just 48-42 at the 12:20 mark.

Back to back baskets by Pendergraph and a three-point shot by Rihards Kuksiks gave ASU its first lead in nearly 33 minutes of the game, as they led Washington 56-52 with just over five minutes left in the game. The sophomore drained another shot beyond the arc to gives his team the largest lead they enjoyed tonight, 59-54 with just 3:18 remaining in the game.

A 7-0 run by the Huskies helped them regain the lead, and nearly seal the deal in regulation. After missing a layup, Harden stripped Justin Dentmon deep in the Huskies' territory and tie the game at 61 apiece in the regulation.

In the extra frame, ASU's foul troubles reared its ugly head and eventually sealed the game's fate. Pendergraph, who was saddled with four fouls, saw Washington's Jon Brockman score down low twice to begin overtime. Harden fouled Dentmon midway through the extra frame and sat down with five fouls. Pendergraph had to take a seat too with his five fouls as Washington scored eight times from the charity stripe to ensure a significant victory in their quest for a Pac-10 championship.

Pendergraph paced all players with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Harden had 19, but just four of his points were scored after the first half. Kuksiks was the third ASU player in double figures with 13. Brockman had 21 points and 11 rebounds in a winning cause.

ASU was out dueled on the glass 41-33, giving up 14 offensive rebounds in the process. They limited the Huskies to 38.3 percent from the field and 11.8 from three-point territory. Both teams were sloppy combining for 31 turnovers (ASU had 15).

The Sun Devils will wrap up the weekend with a visit to Pullman on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm MT to visit Washington State beat Arizona 69-53 on Thursday night. The Cougars will be a tough match up for ASU, who will be trying to salvage the road trip and exercise revenge for the home loss they suffered in Tempe to this squad.


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