Arizona led by as many as 12 in the first half and seven at the break. The Wildcat defense kept James Harden and Ty Abbott in check for the first half. That was not the case in the second half when the ASU freshman took over.
Harden scored 22 or his 26 points in the second half and overtime.
Arizona trailed by five with less than 2:00 to play but a Ty Abbott three and a Harden drive tied the game.
Harden had a chance to win the game in regulation. He used a head fake that caused Jawann McClellan to slip but missed the three from the top of the key. Chase Budinger was fouled by Ty Abbott on the ensuing scrum for the rebound, but the it was only the Devils' sixth team foul. The Cats inbounded the ball with just .04 second left. Daniel Dillon threw a baseball pass to Budinger who could not get his turnaround jumper in time.
Harden was virtually unstoppable late in the game. After Jordan Hill put the Cats up one with 1:45 the freshman took the lead with another drive. The Cats failed to score on the ensuing possession and a Jeff Pedergraph tip put the Devils up by three.
The Cats had a final chance but Chase Budinger was forced to settle for an off-balanced three. ASU got the rebound and Pendegraph iced the game at the line.
Budinger was good early, but mustered just five points the rest of the way.
Jordan Hill scored 18 points and had 14 rebounds. Jordan Hill