ASU Overcomes Mayo's 37 To Down Trojans

March 1, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona State overcame a career-best 37-point performance by O.J. Mayo and took a big step toward an NCAA tournament bid with a 80-66 victory over USC on Saturday.

James Harden, like Mayo a freshman, had 24 points and Jeff Pendergraph 21 to lead the Sun Devils (18-10, 8-8 Pac-10), who haven't been to the tournament since 2003 and were 2-16 in the conference a year ago.

Arizona State dominated the game at the foul line, going 34-of-39 to 10-of-11 for the Trojans, (18-10, 9-7) who missed a chance to move ahead of Washington State into third in the Pac-10 standings.

Harden made 7-of-8 free throws and was 9-of-10 at the foul line. Pendergraph was 9-of-11 at the line. Four Trojans fouled out.

Arizona State, which lost by 14 at USC earlier this season, took control with second-half runs of 10-0 and 16-0.

The Sun Devils went ahead for good 33-32 after Floyd drew a technical and Derek Glasser made two free throws. Harden made a 3-pointer, followed by a three-point play to put his team ahead 39-32 with 14:43 to play.

Ty Abbott's 3-pointer ignited a 16-0 run that gave Arizona State a 59-38 lead.

Pendegraph's three-point play gave the Sun Devils their biggest margin of the game, 62-40, with 8 1/2 minutes to play.

Mayo made consecutive 3s in an 8-0 spurt that cut the lead to 71-62 with 2:58 to go, but Arizona State hit 9-of-10 free throws after that to improve its home record to 13-4.

The game was tied at 25 at the half even though the Sun Devils went nearly nine minutes without a field goal.

Mayo fell one point shy of the record for most points by a freshman in a Pac-10 game. Cliff Robinson of USC scored 39 against Cal in 1978. Don MacLean of UCLA holds the conference record for most points by a freshman in any game - 41 against North Texas State in 1988.

Mayo finished 7-of-10 from 3-point range, missing his last two.

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