Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Syracuse to be tough challenge for ASU

Arizona State's James Harden (center) puts up a shot as Temple's Lavoy Allen (left) and Sergio Olmos defend during Friday's game in Miami.

Arizona State's James Harden (center) puts up a shot as Temple's Lavoy Allen (left) and Sergio Olmos defend during Friday's game in Miami.

MIAMI – Arizona State doesn’t have to study up much on Syracuse to know the obvious: Nothing about Sunday’s second-round contest will be easy, particularly on defense.

“We have to be prepared and ready to be in a heavyweight fight,” sophomore guard James Harden said.

Fueled by guards Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf, Syracuse (27-9) averaged a Big East-best 80.5 points per game, but it can win in other ways.

No. 6-seeded ASU beat No. 11 Temple 66-57 on Friday, while No. 3 Syracuse beat No. 14 Stephen F. Austin 59-44.

Syracuse had a 55-34 rebounding edge in the win. Six-foot-4 forward Paul Harris had 16 rebounds. Forwards Rick Jackson (6-9) and Arinze Onuaku (6-9) combined for 17.

“It’s going to present challenges for not just me, but everybody,” ASU forward Jeff Pendergraph said. “Guys are that big. You’ve got to be ready for weak-side rebounding, and that’s going to put a big challenge on (Rihards Kuksiks) and (Jerren Shipp), blocking them out because they’re just so big.”

ASU holds off Temple

MIAMI – The star shot terribly, so much so that it dominated postgame discussion.

Another double-digit lead was nearly lost.

And at one point, the best shooter on the team hurt so badly he had to call timeout as he dribbled up court.

Arizona State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003 was crammed with drama, but the sixth-seeded Sun Devils showed off their survival skills just in time to defeat Temple in Friday’s first-round at American Airlines Arena.

Derek Glasser, who exited briefly after hurting his tailbone, continued his best run at ASU, scoring a career-high 22 points, 17 in the first half.

Pendergraph added 22 points and seven rebounds. James Harden, everybody’s All-American, missed 7 of 8 shots but finished with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“Yeah, I don’t know how to slice it and dice it, but he didn’t have one of his best games,” ASU coach Herb Sendek said of his star.

And yet, Harden provided the boost needed to advance. Leading 52-49, the sophomore guard curled in the lane and drew a foul. After making a free throw, Harden drilled a 3-pointer, his first and only field goal, giving ASU a 56-49 lead with four minutes left. As he turned down court, Harden nodded and tugged at his jersey as if to say, “Everything’s all right. I’m in control.”

Seven of Harden’s nine points came in the final five minutes. It helped slow a Temple surge that had chipped away at an ASU lead that had reached 13 with eight minutes left in the first half.

“When the game was on the line and down the home stretch, (Harden) was able to . . . reset himself and play exceptionally well,” Sendek said. “You know, that’s not easy to do when you’re not having your day.”

Glasser controlled the first half, which would have seemed ludicrous to fathom two months ago. The junior guard is averaging 18 points over the last three games, nearly four more than Harden. Glasser acknowledged that he’s taking shots that he wouldn’t have considered earlier this season.

“Right now I’m as confident as I’ve ever been,” he said.

Dionte Christmas topped Temple (22-12) with 29 points.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service