Stanford 63, Arizona State 53
STANFORD, Calif. (AP)—Lawrence Hill and Fred Washington scored 18 points apiece, and Stanford took advantage of a long Arizona State scoring drought early in the game to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes with a 63-53 victory over the Sun Devils on Thursday night.
Arizona State (7-21, 1-16 Pac-10) went nearly nine minutes without a point after scoring on the opening possession of the game and played from behind the rest of the way.
Mitch Johnson added 11 points for Stanford (18-10, 10-7), which got the key win despite a quiet night from the Lopez twins. Brook Lopez scored just four points, snapping a string of four straight 20-point games, and Robin had just five.
The win assured the Cardinal of finishing with a winning record in the Pac-10, with only Saturday’s home game against Arizona remaining. With five wins against ranked opponents this season, Stanford is in good position to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.
The Sun Devils cut a 14-point halftime lead to seven and appeared poised to get even closer when Brook Lopez went to the bench with his fourth foul with 10:32 remaining.
But Hill scored on the other end to start a 17-5 run. Kenny Brown then hit a 3-pointer following a backcourt violation by Arizona State. Hill’s 3-pointer capped the spurt, giving the Cardinal a 61-42 lead with just under 4 minutes remaining.
Jeff Pendergraph scored 15 points and Christian Polk added 10 to lead the Sun Devils, who dropped to 0-10 on the road. Arizona State has one game left— Saturday at California—to try to avoid going winless in road games and become the fifth Pac-10 team to win only one conference game since the 18-game schedule began in 1978-79.
The Sun Devils got off to a horrid start offensively. After Pendergraph hit a jumper on the opening possession, they didn’t score again for until Antwi Atuahene’s 3-pointer 8:46 later.
Arizona State missed eight shots and turned the ball over seven times in between the two baskets. The Cardinal scored 11 points during the run and could have had an even bigger lead except they opened the game 4-for-16 from the field.
It didn’t get much better after that for the Sun Devils, who had as many turnovers as points—10—after 15 minutes of play. The Cardinal, on the other hand, found their stroke and ended the half with an 11-3 run to go up 30-16. Arizona State shot just 6-for-24 in the opening half.