No. 22 ASU Tops Cal In Double OT Thriller

Jan. 18, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - James Harden scored his team's first five points of the second overtime and finished with 27, making No. 22 Arizona State's return to the rankings for the first time in nearly 13 years a success with a 99-90 win over California.

Ty Abbott hit two 3-pointers in the second extra session, a key 3 late in the first OT and yet another that tied the game with 8.1 seconds left in regulation. He finished with 25, nine rebounds and five assists to give Arizona State its 10th straight victory.

Jeff Pendergraph added 26 points and eight boards for Arizona State, which has won 10 straight for the first time since an 11-game winning streak by the 1980-81 team that featured Byron Scott, Fat Lever and Alton Lister.

Arizona State (14-2, 4-0 Pac-10), in the Top 25 for the first time since ending the 1994-95 season ranked 16th, hit the road for the first time in conference play and its 4-0 Pac-10 start matches that of the 1987-88 team. The 1979-80 team began conference play 6-0.

Ryan Anderson had 32 points and 15 rebounds for Cal, which got the ball under ASU's basket with 4.8 seconds to play in the first OT but couldn't capitalize when Jerome Randle missed a long 3 at the buzzer.

Harden had another spectacular second half after scoring two points and taking only two shots in the first 20 minutes. He scored 22 after the break in a 64-59 overtime victory against Arizona on Jan. 9.

Patrick Christopher added 23 points with 5-for-7 on 3-pointers and four assists for the Golden Bears (11-5, 2-3), who were effective against an ASU defense that was holding opponents to 56.7 points per game.

Anderson's three-point play at 12:46 put Cal up 58-57, but Harden drove the right baseline with his off hand for a powerful two-handed jam, was fouled and converted the three-point play. Abbott followed with a 3.

Cal pounded the ball inside to Anderson against the Sun Devils' zone early and he already had 12 points by the midway mark, but Pendergraph scored six straight on the other end for ASU.

Anderson, who came in leading the Pac-10 in scoring at 20.7 points, shot 12-for-14 from the free throw line and Cal attempted 27 free throws to 23 for Arizona State.

Arizona State struggled to defend Anderson's quickness in the paint in the first half and hold in check a Cal team that came in second in the conference for scoring at 79.1 points per game.

Harden - the Pac-10's youngest player, who turned 18 on Aug. 26 - was guarded by Christopher, Cal's top defender, and didn't attempt his first shot until a driving layin at 8:21.

Harden drew Christopher's second foul the next time down and Christopher was whistled for his third 5:03 before halftime and took a seat.

Cal split its first two weekends in conference play and was coming off a 69-59 win last Saturday at Oregon State.

ASU made 12 of its first 19 shots and Abbott's 3 in the waning moments pulled the Sun Devils within 38-35 at halftime.

Cal 7-footer Jordan Wilkes missed the game after spraining his left ankle late in practice Wednesday. He was wearing a walking boot and wasn't expected to play Saturday against Arizona either.

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