Arizona Misses Opportunity Against ASU

Jan. 21, 2009

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TUCSON--An edgy contest of two teams not at their best came down to a seven-minute game, a two-minute game and a 15-second game, and No. 17 Arizona State overcame a shooting funk to beat Arizona, 53-47 Wednesday night in McKale Center.

The Sun Devils shot 29 percent from the field and missed 40 field goals, but turned it over only nine times to 13 by UA, and made key free throws down the stretch. The victory was the Devils' 12th in their last 14 games and helped them keep pace in the Pac-10 at 5-2. ASU improved to 16-3 overall. Arizona dropped to 11-8 and 2-5.

ASU closed the game with a 13-7 run after snapping a tie at 1:39. Ten of those points came at the free throw line.

Derek Glasser's three-pointer with less than two minutes left snapped a 40-40 tie and lifted the Sun Devils into the lead. James Harden earned a pair of free throws 40 seconds later and made both to give ASU a four-point cushion.

UA's Jordan Hill, held scoreless in the first half put up nearly all his points after the seven-minute mark in the second half to notch his 12th double-double at 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. His two free throws and a three-pointer by Zane Johnson brought UA to within one, 46-45.

Glasser missed the front end but made the second of two bonus shots to give ASU a 47-45 lead with 19 seconds left. UA's Hill was called for a personal foul and a bench technical called against UA at the 12-second mark ended the speculation.

UA was held to 30 percent shooting, including 2-for-16 from beyond the arc. Hill was only five for 16 from the floor. Chase Budinger was next in scoring for UA with 14 points.

ASU's James Harden took game honors with 21 points, while Glasser added 13 and Jeff Pendergraph chipped in 11 to go with 14 boards. UA ended up with a 40-38 edge on the boards.

Harden made both bonus shots for a 49-45 lead, and then Glasser dropped in another pair of free throws after a UA foul. Glasser made the final two from the line as well.

The early going in the second half was just as testy and filled with bad shooting as the first period.

UA opened the frame with two turnovers and a missed shot and it helped ASU regain the lead, 23-21. ASU's Harden dunked, spun inside for an old fashioned three-point play and the Devils were back on top at 17:53.

Arizona got a dunk and free throw from Budinger to put the Cats up 24-23 at 17:20, and after a series of misses at both ends, Jordan Hill put in a reverse layup to make it 26-23. But Pendergraph got to the line and made both free throws to cut the lead to one.

The shooting improved for a spell. ASU's Derek Glasser stepped into the lane and dropped a jumper to put ASU back on top, Jamelle Horne answered with a dunk, and Harden replied with an inside move to make it ASU 29-28 seven minutes in. A minute later Harden knocked down a wide-open two-count three to give the Devils their biggest lead to that point, 32-28, at the 12-minute media timeout.

Hill dunked to cut it to two, and UA had another chance a minute later, but Kyle Fogg was called for a push-off to wipe out his basket. After an ASU turnover, Hill tied the game 32-all with a short jumper just inside nine minutes.

Two minutes and four missed shots later, the score still held at the 7:02 media timeout.

Pendergraph made the first of two free throws to give ASU a 33-32 lead, but Hill got fouled inside and made two bonus shots at the 6:05 mark to put UA back ahead, 34-33. After a James Harden miss, Hill worked inside for a short one-handed bank shot to make it a three-point contest.

Hill mishandled the ball for a turnover, but rebounded a Jamelle McMillan miss at the other end. McMillan fouled Hill on a drive to the basket and the UA junior made one of two for a four-point margin at 4:28.

Derek Glasser found himself open and drained a three to cut it to one, 37-36, at the four-minute mark. Harden worked himself to the line and dropped in a pair to make it a one-point ASU margin half a minute later.

After that, UA missed three shots around a Pendergraph dunk, but Hill came through with an inside basket and the bonus shot to make it 40-40 at the 2:03 mark.

Arizona held a slim three-point lead in a low-scoring, bad-shooting first half, 21-18.

Arizona held a 3-2 lead after four minutes, with a Zane Johnson breakaway layup and a free throw from Alex Jacobson against a close-in bucket from ASU's Jeff Pendergraph.

ASU outside shooter Rihards Kuksiks drained a three-pointer after the media timeout to put the Devils ahead, 5-4, for the first time in the game at 15:37.

Three minutes later it was still a low-scoring affair at 7-6 ASU. But UA went on a 10-0 run over the next seveal minutes to open up a decent lead. The Cats regained the lead with a baseline drive from Jamelle Horne, and then Nic Wise added a jumper to put UA up 10-7 by the second media timeout at 11:05.

Chase Budinger got in the act for UA with a three moments after play resumed to push UA's lead to six, 13-7.

The Cats got a rebound and took it down on the break, with Wise working himself to the line for a pair of free throws, making both to make it 15-7. Pendergraph finally broke the ASU drought with an inside move. That held up until the third media break with UA on top 15-9 with just under eight minutes left in the half.

The Sun Devils took a 7-2 run in the next several minutes to trim the lead to just three points, 17-13, on a pair of shots from Pendergraph and a Ty Abbott three-pointer.

ASU stayed in the game with rebounding, holding a 22-16 edge, with both teams shooting poorly at 20 percent for ASU and 29 percent for UA through the first 16 minutes.

Budinger dunked and dropped in a bank shot to put Arizona up by five and Wise followed with a steal and was fouled on the break. He made both to make it 21-14 at the 3:22 mark.

The Cats' defense to that point neutralized ASU's leading scorer, James Harden, who had two points but as importantly for Arizona only four shots. After a UA turnover a minute later, when the UA defense collapsed, he dished off for an easy bucket by Kuksiks.

On its next possession ASU went to Harden inside and he dunked to cut the lead to three, 21-18, at a time out with less than a minute left. Arizona worked for a waning moments shot, but Hill threw it away after getting himself in the air, and ASU used the final 10 seconds to get the ball to Abbott for a missed three-pointer.

That closed out ASU's half with a 23 percent shooting rate to UA's 29 percent. UA trailed on the boards, 25-20, with Hill grabbing six against seven by Pendergraph. The 18 points matched the Devils' first-half season low against IUPUI. Kuksiks, a 50-percent three-point shooter, was 1 for 7 in the period from beyond the arc. UA's Jordan Hill, meantime, was held scoreless in the period.

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