Sun Devils Sink Temple 70-66
Dec 10, 2003
By Brian Gomez, TheSunDevils.com
For Arizona State's men's basketball team, figuring out Temple's zonedefense was like solving a math problem: Right when you think you have theanswer,another variable unexpectedly pops into the equation.
That was appropriate, given the fact that the Sun Devils were playing theirlast game Tuesday before final exams.
It took more than 36 minutes of frustration, but the numbers finally fellinto place, as ASU overcame a seven-point deficit in the closing four minutes to beat Temple 70-66 at America West Arena.
Junior shooting guard Steve Moore and sophomore forward Ike Diogu providedthe lift the Sun Devils needed down the stretch, combining to score theirteam's final 15 points to complete the dramatic comeback.
Diogu finished with a game-high 23 points, while Moore totaled 15, despitemaking only three of 12 shots from the field. Moore was 7-for-10 from thefree-throw line, and dished out three assists.
'Temple was in control of the basketball game, and we just kept battlinguntil some good things happened,' ASU head coach Rob Evans said.
The Sun Devils (4-1) faced an uphill battle the entire second half, largelybecause Temple's matchup zone sagged down on Diogu and caused problems forMoore and freshman guard Tron Smith around the perimeter.
Trailing 62-55 with 4:41 remaining, Moore gave ASU the spark it needed with afour-point play that trimmed the lead to three points. On the Sun Devils'next trip up the floor, Diogu converted a three-point play, and Temple'sseven-point edge had suddenly vanished.
'We saw the time ticking down, and we realized we didn't want to drop twogames in a row,' said Diogu, who was 7-for-10 from the field and 9-for-10 fromthe charity stripe. 'A lot of people came out to support us. The crowd startedgetting hyped, and we needed stops, and we got them.'
Temple (1-4) went ahead 66-64 with 1:42 left when freshman guard DustinSalisbery laid in a bucket in the paint, but ASU responded as Diogu quicklyscored on the other end to tie the game.
Redshirt freshman guard Kevin Kruger's steal gave the Sun Devils a chance to win, andMoore made the most of the opportunity, knocking down a long jumper on a passfrom Smith that propelled his team to a 68-66 lead, its first of the game.After Temple drew a blank on its game-tying attempt, Moore came away with theloose ball, then tossed an alley-oop to Diogu, who slammed home a dunk as theSun Devils sealed the deal in the game's waning moments.
'He's an All-American, and there's going to be no better hands than hishands, so I gave it to him,' Moore said.
UP NEXT: After an eight-day break for finals, ASU returns to action at 6 p.m.MST at Northwestern. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and heard onESPN Radio 860 AM.
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By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
The Sun Devils (4-1) never led until Moore sank an 18-footer to make it68-66 with 32 seconds to play.
David Hawkins, who scored all 15 points in the second half but made just4-of-17 shots, missed a jumper in traffic. Dustin Salisbery got the offensiverebound and missed, too, as an enraged Temple coach John Chaney called for afoul.
The game ended with a fastbreak stuff by Diogu, who made seven of 10 shots.
Diogu, a preseason all-American who has scored in double figures in all 37of his college games, scored seven consecutive points in the late run. Moorescored 15, including a four-point play that ignited the winning surge.
Mardy Collins scored 19 for Temple, 14 in the first half as the Owls took a34-29 lead. Salisbery added 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Temple (1-4) had 20 more shots than Arizona State, but the Sun Devils made29 of 36 free throws, compared with 14-of-23 for the Owls. Three Temple playersfouled out, including 7-foot-1 Keith Butler, who had made things difficult forDiogu much of the night.
Moore, 1-for-9 shooting up to that point, sank a 3-pointer and was fouled byCollins with 3:52 to go. He made the free throw to cut it to 62-59 with 3:52remaining.
Diogu scored inside with a soft left-hander, and was fouled. The free throwtied it at 62-62 with 3:08 to go.
Diogu scored again to tie it at 66-66 with 1:25 left, was fouled, and had achance to give Arizona State its first lead but missed the free throw.
Arizona State went without a field goal for the first 5:56 of the secondhalf. Temple, meanwhile, sank four 3-pointers, the last two by David Hawkins,to go up 49-40 with 12:17 to go.
The Sun Devils scored the next seven points to cut it to 49-47 with 9:53 togo on Diogu's inside basket, his first shot of the second half.
But Hawkins was fouled by Moore on a 3-point try, made all three free throwsto boost the lead to 52-47.
Temple's Antywane Robinson scored the first four points of the game, butsprained his left ankle on the second basket, a rebound dunk, and had to behelped off the court just over a minute into the contest. He did not return.
Temple's Nehemiah Ingram fouled out without scoring in 17 minutes.
Arizona State shot just under 40 percent, Temple 34 percent.
The teams had not met since 1976 at the Hawaii Classic in Honolulu.
The game was played at America West Arena, rather than ASU's home court, asa rehearsal for the NCAA Regional, to be held there next March.
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