Sun Devil Persistence Pays Dividends in OT Win
Jan. 9, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- James Harden scored 26 points as Arizona State defeated Arizona 64-59 in overtime on Wednesday night, the Sun Devils' second victory in 26 games against their instate rival.
Students rushed the floor to celebrate the rare win over the Wildcats.
Harden hit only 1-of-6 shots in the first half. But he scored 22 of his points after halftime, including five in overtime, as the Sun Devils (13-2, 3-0 Pac-10) overcame a nine-point second half deficit.
Arizona State won its ninth straight game, the team's longest winning streak since December 2004. The Sun Devils won their first three Pac-10 games for the third time since it joined the conference in 1978-79.
Jordan Hill scored 18 points and had 14 rebounds for Arizona (10-5, 1-2 Pac-10).
The Wildcats took a 59-58 lead on Hill's basket with 1:45 to go in overtime. Harden answered with a driving basket, and then Arizona's Nic Wise missed a 3-pointer.
Harden missed on another drive, but Jeff Pendergraph laid in the rebound to put the Sun Devils up 62-59 with 12 seconds to play. Pendergraph finished with 14 points.
Arizona led 55-50 with 1:33 to play in regulation when ASU's Ty Abbott hit a 3-pointer. After Arizona's Jordan Hill traveled, Harden drove to tie the game at 55-55 with 1:00 to go, and neither team scored in the final minute.
Arizona seemed to have taken control when Hill picked up his second and third foul two minutes into the second half. ASU went on a 10-4 run after Hill left to pull within 36-34 with 12 minutes to go.
Arizona played its fourth straight game without leading scorer Jerryd Bayless, who has a sprained right knee. With a short bench, Wildcats coach Kevin O'Neill played freshman Zane Johnson for the first time this season.
The Wildcats had beaten ASU 24 of 25 times dating to 1995. But a sellout crowd of 13,947 -- the first since 2005 -- turned out to see if the upstart Sun Devils could end the domination against the shorthanded Wildcats.
It was an ugly game, as ASU forced the Wildcats to play at their glacial pace. The teams combined for 17 field goals and 16 turnovers in the first half; Arizona led 28-21 at intermission.
The Sun Devils hit only three of their first 18 shots from the floor and went more than eight minutes without a bucket midway through the first half.