Devils grind out home victory

It was only fitting that ex-Sun Devil Jeff Pendergraph, the proverbial lunch pail player, was in attendance at ASU's 56-46 win over Oregon State. The maroon and gold prevailed in a hard fought battle where they once again relied on their stifling defense to compensate for a poor shooting night.

"Obviously we had a challenging time scoring tonight," said Head Coach Herb Sendek's on his team's 35.6 percentage from the field. "In the second half we shot 28 percent, 33 percent from three. So we weren't going to outscore too many people with that kind of an offensive production.

"But you have to give a lot of credit to the Oregon State defense. It's difficult to prepare for, unique and challenging to attack, and they did a great job with that. Our guys did a good job on defense holding them to similar kind of numbers and percentages."

The Beavers were just 24.6 percent from the field, which was the lowest field goal percentage against ASU in 23 seasons.

Arizona State (17-8, 7-5 Pac-10) had a hard time for most of the first half creating a distance between themselves and Oregon State (10-13, 4-7). The visitors actually held a 15-12 advantage with 8:27 left, but were outscored 11-3 the rest of the stanza and saw the hosts hold a 26-18 edge at the half.

That run was ultimately crucial in the game's fate, as ASU was virtually trading baskets with Oregon State the whole second half, en route to a precious conference win.

17 of the Sun Devils' second half 30 points came from Derek Glasser, who scored 16 to shake off his recent shooting slump and Jerren Shipp who chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of play.

"He played with a lot of heart and passion," said Sendek of Shipp. "He continues to just be a great representative for what our program is all about. He wears so many hats and whatever role our team has asked him to fill over the years he has done so. The only thing he cares about is winning. He works hard every day.

"I thought Derek was good with four assists and one turnover and at the end of the game with the ball in his hands he's great at the foul line. Taylor (Rhode) gave us a good lift…very similar to the game in Corvallis a gut check win. I think our guys continued to play defense even though we had our offensive turbulence and that's not always the case."

Ty Abbott was only 3 of 14 shooting, but accompanied his nine points with the same number of caroms. Eric Boateng also had nine rebounds tonight. After shooting 25 percent from the free throw line in the first half, the Sun Devils were 15 of 19 from the charity stripe in the last twenty minutes. Calvin Haynes led Oregon State with 15 points.

Ironically, on a night where offensive struggles plagued ASU, their local 2010 class signee Corey Hawkins shined. He led Goodyear Estrella Foothills with 41 points not only notching a 113-51 win over Sedona Red Rock, but surpassing Mike Bibby as the all-time leading Arizona High School scorer with 3,030 points.

"We are very happy for him," said Sendek. "It's a long standing record, a milestone achievement. That's an incredible amount of points and we are very excited that Corey is coming to Arizona State. I look forward to having him next year."

When a reporter suggested that Hawkins may have single handily outscored the entire Sun Devil squad a few times this season, Sendek commented smiling: "There's no ‘may' – I know he has."

ASU returns to Wells Fargo Arena Saturday at 4 p.m. as they host the Oregon Ducks who fell 70-57 to Arizona on Thursday night.


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