Sun Devils Fall in Opening Round of Pac-10 Tournament
March 8, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - Despite a game-high 22 points from point guard Kevin Kruger, the eighth-seeded Sun Devils were unable to come away with a victory in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament, falling to the ninth-seeded Oregon State Beavers, 71-68, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Junior guard Bryson Krueger also scored 16 points in the game for the Sun Devils, who shot 40% from the field.
The Sun Devils looked in command early in the first half, building a 10-point lead at the midway point of the half at 18-8. Led by Kruger, who was 3-of-3 from three-point range in the first half, the Devils took an eight-point lead into the locker room, 38-30.
ASU continued its hot streak in the opening minutes of the second half, opening on a 7-0 run to build its biggest lead of the game, a 15-point margin, at 45-30.
However, momentum took a swing in the opposite direction as the Beavers clawed their way back into the game, while the Devils' forwards set on the bench in foul trouble, and cut the deficit to five points at 59-54. Oregon State then took off on a 15-2 run, taking advantage of 7:11 field goal drought by the Devils, and built a 71-61 lead with 1:58 left to play.
The Sun Devils put up a valiant fight in the closing minutes of the game, ending on a 7-0 run, but could not force overtime after stealing the ball in the final seconds. The Beavers held on for a narrow 71-68 victory and sent the Devils home to Tempe in the tournament's opening round.
The loss for the Sun Devils was the first against the Beavers in three tries this year, having beaten them both at home and on the road during the regular season.