Sun Devils Just Short In Upset Bid Against Stanford

By Brian Gomez, TheSunDevils.com

The Arizona State men's basketball team was victimized by junior forward Josh Childress on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena - again.

Childress put back senior forward Justin Davis' miss with 9.4 seconds remaining to lift No. 4-ranked Stanford to a 63-62 victory over ASU at Wells Fargo Arena, marking the second straight year in which Childress beat the Sun Devils with a followed shot.

Last year, Childress' putback on a missed free throw by junior center Rob Little thwarted ASU's upset bid. On Thursday, there was nothing but feelings of d�j� vu.

'Once again, we were really close, but we've got to learn how to finish up games,' said Sun Devil head coach Rob Evans, whose team led during the closing three minutes until Childress struck gold for the second time in Tempe. 'Our guys really fought hard, and put themselves in a position to win the basketball game, and should have won the ballgame.'

After Childress' improbable bucket, ASU (6-5, 0-2 Pac-10) had a chance to win on its final possession, but junior point guard Jason Braxton missed a short jumper in the lane with five seconds left, and the Sun Devils couldn't corral the loose ball as time expired.

Evans said afterward that Braxton was supposed to get the ball to junior guard Steve Moore on the perimeter or sophomore forward Ike Diogu in the post. Braxton had an open look at the basket.

'We got a good look,' said Diogu, who totaled 13 points, six rebounds and a career-high six assists in 38 minutes to extend his consecutive-games scoring streak to 43 games, tops in the nation. 'He did what he thought was best, and what everybody else thought was best because it was a good, close shot. It just didn't go in.'

The Sun Devils trailed 37-24 at halftime, and were down for most of the second half until redshirt freshman forward Serge Angounou's jumper with 6:41 left put ASU back on top.

Stanford (12-0, 3-0) drew even with 2:58 remaining when senior guard Matt Lottich made the first of two free throws, but the Sun Devils pulled ahead 62-59 the next trip up the floor on senior swingman Jamal Hill's three-pointer.

With 1:29 left, sophomore guard Chris Hernandez drained a pair of free throws to trim the deficit to 62-61. Stanford junior forward Josh Childress misfired on a hanging jumper on his team's next possession, however, ASU squandered an opportunity to take control when Braxton missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds remaining.

On Stanford's last possession, Davis had a good look at the basket against Angounou, but his shot clanked off the glass. Angounou fell to the floor as Childress came soaring to the rack over Diogu. Replays showed that Childress tipped in the ball without making contact with Diogu's back.

'I know we didn't box out,' said Angounou, who scored five points and grabbed five rebounds in 22 minutes in his first action since last year's exhibition opener. 'Someone was supposed to box him out, and we would have won the game, but it was the little things that killed us again.'

Moore shook off a sore lower back to score 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including a 3-for-5 effort from three-point range. Braxton added 13 points and four assists.

For Stanford, Lottich scored a game-high 18 points and dished out six assists. Childress had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Davis tossed in 11 points and Hernandez had 10 points.

UP NEXT: ASU continues Pac-10 play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday against California. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Net and heard on ESPN Radio 860 AM.

Reach the reporter at brian.gomez@asu.edu.

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Josh Childress soared for a rebound basket with 9.4seconds to play to give No. 4 Stanford a 63-62 victory over Arizona State onThursday night.

The Cardinal (12-0, 3-0 Pac-10) had leads of 16 points late in the firsthalf and 14 early in the second, but barely escaped to beat Arizona State forthe 12th consecutive time and ninth in a row on the Sun Devils' home court.

Jason Braxton missed an open seven-footer at the buzzer for Arizona State.The referees conferred for a moment, then ruled the game was over - it was notimmediately clear what they were talking about.

Jamal Hill's 3-pointer, his first points against Stanford in three games,put Arizona State (6-5, 0-2) up 62-59 with 2:23 to play.

Chris Hernandez made the first of two free throws, then missed the secondbut got another try because of an Arizona State lane violation. He made thatone to cut the lead to 62-61 with 1:29 to play.

Braxton, a 46 percent free-throw shooter who scored all 13 of his points inthe second half, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds to play.Stanford worked the ball into Justin Davis, who missed, but Childress got therebound and scored.

Childress, in his third game after missing the first nine with a stressreaction in his right foot, had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Davis added 11points. Hernandez and Matt Lottich scored 10 points apiece for Stanford, whichplays at No. 3 Arizona on Saturday.

Steve Moore scored 16 for Arizona State. Ike Diogu added 13 points and acareer-high six assists.

The Sun Devils used a pressure man-to-man defense and a suddenly effectiveoffense to take the lead 56-55 on Angounou's 16-footer with 6:39 to play.

Stanford led 40-26 after Justin Davis made one of two free throws with 18:41left in the game.

Arizona State got back into it with a 16-4 run that cut it to 46-44 onDiogu's eight-footer with 12:29 to play. Diogu's stuff put the Sun Devils up59-58 with 3:16 to go. Lottich made one of two free throws to tie it at 59-59with 2:58 remaining.

The Sun Devils led 15-9 before Stanford took over with a 26-4 run. Childressand Lottich scored eight apiece during the outburst.

Davis started the surge with consecutive rebound baskets, and Lottichpunctuated it with a fastbreak layup that put the Cardinal ahead 35-19 with4:05 left in the half.

Diogu's 43 consecutive double-digit scoring games is the longest currentstreak in the nation. West Virginia's Drew Schifino saw his streak end at 48games with a nine-point performance against Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

Arizona State has not beaten a team ranked higher than No. 5 at home sinceWells Fargo Arena opened in 1874-75.

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