Friday, March 7, 2008
Devils Drop Crucial Game
Thursday night stood at a big night in the Sun Devil's post-season hopes. ASU is a bubble team and needed to close out conference play with two wins on the road. That won't happen. The Devils lost to Oregon 67-61 after again falling victim to a scoring run by the opponent to open the second half and James Harden's heroics proved too little too late to save the team.
There were a number of frustrating things about this game, the first of which being the lack of television coverage. Seriously? I was relegated to watching ESPN's GameCast as it refreshed every 30 seconds and the little graph of the scoring difference inched upward. Glad to be in the technological haven of 2008. Second is the scoring run that the Devils give up to start the second half of seemingly every game in the conference schedule. Sendek needs to bring in Dennis Erickson to give the halftime talks during the Pac-10 tournament and the players need to toughen up mentally to prevent such a run. Third, Jeff Pendergraph went 5-for-5 against Oregon. If the emotional leader of the team and second leading scorer hasn't missed a shot, why does he only get 5 shots for the entire game?! He wasn't in foul trouble! He played 29 minutes! 5 SHOTS?! It still blows my mind that he doesn't get more touches. Derek Glasser goes 1-for-9 and Pendergraph only gets 5 shots.
In other news, Harden still did his thing. 22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals while scoring 10 points in the last 4 minutes to cut the Oregon lead to 3 with under a minute to play. Unfortunately, Oregon did what they were supposed to do and made free throws down the stretch.
ASU needs to beat Oregon State (0-17 in conference) on Saturday to finish .500 in the conference play and keep NCAA hopes alive. Winning two games in the Pac-10 tournament would give the Devils a more legitimate chance at the Dance. Saturday's game will be televised on FSN Arizona and broadcast on 620AM at 3:30pm.