Youthful Sun Devils Trounce No. 17 Xavier, 77-55

Dec. 15, 2007

Final Stats

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ty Abbott scored 19 points and freshman-dominated Arizona State routed No. 17 Xavier 77-55 on Saturday.

Jerren Shipp scored 17 points, and James Harden added 16 for the Sun Devils.

In what is believed to be a first for ASU, the Sun Devils started four freshmen -- guards Harden, Abbott, Jamelle McMillan and forward Rihards Kuksiks.

Abbott went 7-for-10 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc.

It was ASU's first home victory over a ranked nonconference opponent since Dec. 20, 1980, when the Sun Devils defeated No. 7 Ohio State. The Sun Devils typically load their schedule with teams from marginal conferences.

B.J. Raymond scored 12 points for Xavier, which snapped a seven-game win streak.

The Musketeers struggled against Arizona State's tenacious zone defense. Even when Xavier penetrated, the Sun Devils contested every shot. Xavier shot 30.6 percent from the floor, 22 percent in the second half.

ASU, meanwhile, shot 59.5 percent from the floor, and 52.6 percent from beyond the arc.

The game matched ASU coach Herb Sendek against Xavier's Sean Miller, who served on Sendek's staffs at Miami of Ohio and North Carolina State.

The Musketeers hit their first four shots from the floor -- three from beyond the arc -- and jumped out to an 8-0 lead after 90 seconds.

ASU called timeout and regrouped. The Sun Devils answered with a 12-3 run, and an upset was brewing.

After Xavier rallied to take an 18-12 lead, ASU went on a 15-2 run, with Shipp scoring seven points off the bench. ASU shot 62 percent in the first half on its way to a 33-28 halftime lead -- the first time Xavier has trailed at the intermission this season.

The Sun Devils opened the second half on a 13-5 run capped by Shipp's 3-pointer from the left wing.

ASU took its biggest lead, at 61-44, when Harden nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 6:40 to play.