An ugly win counts just as much

Coming off a tough loss at Washington, the Sun Devils were determined to continue their battle for the Pac-10 title. Facing the Oregon State Beavers Thursday evening in Tempe resulted in a 56-46 victory for the maroon and gold, despite a sloppy overall performance.

"A win is a win," senior Derek Glasser said. "We won, that's all that matters. Just have to keep winning and stay in the race."

Glasser and his teammates anticipated that the matchup would be similar to their previous meetings with this opponent. The Beavers, a typically low scoring team, thrive on their defensive abilities, yet could not defeat the Sun Devils.

"I think that's how it's been previous games with them," Glasser admitted. "They are low scoring and miss a lot of shots and it's a defensive game."

Oregon State, switching between different defenses throughout the matchup, was able to hold the Sun Devils to only 26 points in the first half, yet were unable to defeat them offensively. The Beavers effectively kept the maroon and gold on their toes.

"Seth (Tarver) is really long up there," Glasser said. "He gets his hands on a lot of balls; he alters a lot of passes. It's hard to make that skip pass because Roeland (Schaftennar) is so tall. He takes up a lot of space. They do a good job on their defenses. They change up their defenses a lot and so they keep you on your toes. I thought we did a decent job of changing with them, I just think guys misses some open shots. Hopefully we knock them down against Oregon."

Taking advantage of their previous knowledge of the Beavers, Arizona State came out with a patient mindset. Offensively, the maroon and gold were able to take their time to find the open shot, which resulted a valuable Pac-10 victory.

"Against their zones, we were getting good shots," Glasser commented. "And we didn't want to settle for a quick easy shot and they were also being very patient and making us play 30 seconds down there so we didn't want to take a quick shot and come back and have to play defense for 30 seconds again so we slowed it down a little bit and just tried to get the best shot we could."

The Sun Devils began the season with much hype surrounding their defensive abilities, yet have fallen short of expectations in their last several Pac-10 matchups. On three occasions they allowed teams to score 70 points which is virtually unheard of under Coach Herb Sendek. Thursday's contest could be a turning point for Arizona State in terms of their defensive play.

"This is better than we have been but for us to go to the next level," Glasser noted. "We definitely need to pick it up, kind of how we were when we won those four games at the start of the conference. We need to find that again but this is better than what we have been doing.

"It seems like we were a step quicker today than we have been. Instead of them getting a wide open three on a skip, we made them put it on the ground and then we rotated, so just little things like that."

Senior Jerren Shipp, provided the Sun Devils with the spark they needed early in the game to boost his team towards a victory. Being mentally prepared and physically ready, despite a big disparity in minutes that he receives each game, to help his team at any point in time has proven to be a valuable asset to the team.

"Coming into the game I just wanted to give my team a lift," Shipp commented. "Come out and play hard and give a lot of energy and that's what I did. I just came in, went and got a couple offensive rebounds to get my game going and just took it from there."

"I think it's a credit to his character," Glasser said about his teammate. "He is a senior and he doesn't really play that many minutes. Some games he'll play 20, other games he wont even play so for him to stay mentally ready and to be able to help us like that, it says a lot about him."


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