Oregon Overpowers ASU

For the first twenty minutes, it looked like an upset in the making. The Sun Devils went into one of the toughest venues in the country, and led 39-33 at the half against a shell-shocked Ducks team. However, the second half was more predictable which was bad news for Rob Evans' squad. During a five-minute stretch the home team exploded for 21 unanswered points, and the Devils' fate was sealed. Oregon ended up trouncing ASU 94-73.

In the first five minutes none of the teams were able to break away from each other. At the 15:10 mark the score was tied at 11, with Ike Diogu accounting for eight points. Shawn Redhage's jumper with 10:59 left in the half gave his team their first lead of the game 19-17. Redhage and Jamal Hill continued the Sun Devils' offensive pressure, which helped ASU increase their lead and go down to the locker room with a six-point lead. For the first several minutes of the second half the Sun Devils were able to sustain their momentum, and hold on to a 51-48 lead at the 13:57 mark. For the next five minutes the Ducks went on that detrimental 21-0 run, and the rest was history. An unconscious 81 percent field goal shooting in the second half naturally aided the home team in their reversal of fortunes.

ASU's defense was nowhere to be found tonight, especially in the second half. Oregon was sizzling from the field shooting overall 59.6%, and even more impressive was their 55.5% from behind the arch (for 11 3-pointers). Wasted in the loss was a solid 48% shooting by the Devils. On the other hand, it was back to their old devastating antics from the free throw line making only 66% of their shots. Once again Diogu and Curtis Millage were the only Sun Devils in double figures scoring 27 and 18 respectively. Tommy Smith's six points on 2/9 shooting was probably one of the biggest hindrances in the Devils' chances to pull the upset tonight. Diogu led the Devils with eight rebounds, but overall his team lost the battle of the boards 30-25.

While ASU fans are hardly shocked by the loss tonight, they are disappointed that a golden opportunity for the biggest upset of the season has slipped away. Nevertheless, the Sun Devils wanted to leave the state of Oregon with a split, and they did exactly that. Thus, there's a lot of positive that can be taken away from their first Pac-10 road trip of the season. ASU opens its Pac-10 home schedule against Washington on Thursday, and just like against Oregon State, Rob Evans' team must take care of business and beat a team that it should. Their performance this coming Thursday will truly indicate how quickly they have put the Oregon game behind them, and if they're able to, once again, prevail against the weaker teams in their league.

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