Golden Bears End Regular Season with Road Loss
March 7, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Jeff Pendergraph had 27 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game to lead No. 21 Arizona State to an 83-66 victory over California on Saturday that snapped the Sun Devils' three-game losing streak.
Pendergraph came out to a standing ovation in the final seconds, blowing kisses to the crowd.
It might also have been the last home game for Arizona State's James Harden, a sophomore who is projected as a high pick in the NBA draft. Harden, the Pac-10's leading scorer, had 20 points for the Sun Devils (22-8, 11-7 Pac-10).
Jerome Randle scored 24 points for Cal (22-9, 11-7).
California and the Sun Devils finished tied for third in the Pac-10, but the Golden Bears own the tiebreaker and will be the third seed in the conference tournament next week in Los Angeles.
Forty hours after a listless 74-64 home loss to Stanford, the Sun Devils came out fired up. They took command early, running out to a 24-11 lead on Harden's dunk off an alley-oop from point guard Derek Glasser.
Glasser finished with 12 points and 11 assists, matching a career high, and he played 39 minutes on a day the Sun Devils were without Jamelle McMillan, who usually spells Glasser at the point. McMillan has a groin strain and is unlikely to play in the Pac-10 tourney.
ASU students chanted 'one more year!' as Harden shot a free throw in the first half, but it's widely believed he'll turn pro after the season.
It was a memorable last home game for Pendergraph, who is wrapping up one of the more interesting careers in ASU hoops history.
The 6-foot-9 Pendergraph arrived in 2005 from Etiwanda, Calif. He considered transferring after his freshman year, when ASU fired coach Rob Evans and hired Herb Sendek.
Sendek asked Pendergraph to be one of his leaders. But in Pendergraph's sophomore season, the Sun Devils finished last in the Pac-10 and lost a school-record 15 straight games.
Two years later, they're almost surely heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003.
Pendergraph is shooting 66.2 percent from the field, best in the nation.
Pendergraph scored five of his points early in the second half as the Sun Devils took a 50-28 lead.
After Cal whittled the deficit to 66-57 with 7 minutes to play, Pendergraph soared and dunked on an alley-oop from Glasser, and the Bears didn't threaten again.
The Golden Bears were coming off an 83-77 victory over Arizona, their first win in McKale Center since 1995. Randle made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points against the Wildcats.
Cal is one of the nation's better shooting teams; the Golden Bears came in hitting 48.9 percent, seventh in the nation, and 44.5 percent from beyond the arc, best in the country.
But they shot only 42.2 percent overall and 26.3 percent from 3-point range against the Sun Devils.