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Sun Devils falter at home again in conference play

The Arizona Republic

By ANDREW BAGNATO

The Arizona Republic

TEMPE – Something had to give in the Arizona State-Stanford men’s basketball game Saturday night.

The Sun Devils hadn’t won a Pac-10 home game.

The Cardinal hadn’t won a Pac-10 road game.

Someone’s luck had to change, and if you’ve followed the Sun Devils this season, you might guess it wouldn’t be theirs.

In their latest gut-wrenching home loss, the Sun Devils fell 70-64 in front of 7,386 spectators in Wells Fargo Arena, their fourth straight home loss in Pac-10 play.

The Sun Devils (7-10, 1-7 in Pac-10) blew an eight-point second-half lead and made only three field goals in the final 12 minutes.

“We need to figure out how to close out games,” point guard Antwi Atuahene said.

ASU’s seasonlong run of misfortune continued when Jeff Pendergraph, who had a team-high 14 first-half points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor, sprained his right ankle late in the first half. He did not return.

“He came out, and he was a horse,” freshman Sylvester Seay said.

But Stanford had a stallion, forward Matt Haryasz, the senior from Page High School who chose the Cardinal over ASU. Two nights after he scored a career-high 25 points in an overtime loss at Arizona, Haryasz dropped 27 on the Sun Devils and also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Haryasz, whose parents, sister and hometown friends were in the seats, was the last player to enter the Cardinal’s dressing room. When he stepped in the door, a cheer went up from his teammates.

“It feels awesome,” Haryasz said. “This is a special game for me. To go out of ASU with a win my last time coming through is nice. That’s pretty special for me.”

For Stanford, this shaped up as a virtual must-win. Coming to town with an unsightly 140 RPI, the Cardinal (8-7, 4-3) need to start stacking wins to draw an NCAA Tournament berth for the 12th straight year.

ASU came in looking to rebound from an 88-58 loss to California on Thursday night, which matched the worst loss in coach Rob Evans’ eight years in Tempe. Evans, looking for a spark, gave Seay, a freshman, his first career start.

“I expected us to come out with a lot of fire today,” Atuahene said. “What happened Thursday night was pretty much an embarrassment.”

ASU’s effort was solid, and Seay provided plenty of energy. But the Sun Devils couldn’t stop Haryasz, who ranks fourth in Pac-10 scoring (17.7 points per game) and leads in rebounding (8.9 per game).

The Sun Devils opened up a 48-41 lead with 11 minutes to go. That’s when Haryasz went to work. First he hit a couple of free throws, then scored on a fast-break dunk and three jump shots.

By the time he was finished, Stanford had a 55-54 lead with six minutes to play. ASU would tie the game three times down the stretch but never led again.

No. 10 Washington 78, Oregon 59: At Seattle, Jamaal Williams scored 20 points, Brandon Roy scored 19, and Bobby Jones added 15 as Washington’s three seniors sparked a win.

It was only the fifth time in 18 games the seniors were the top three scorers for Washington (16-2, 5-2 Pac-10), which also starts two freshmen.

The Huskies, who moved into a tie with UCLA for the top spot in the Pac-10, have won four straight conference games since stunning consecutive losses at home to Arizona and Washington State. And the national scoring leaders, averaging 87.3 points per game coming in, finally cracked 70 for the first time in three games.

No. 12 West Virginia 60, No. 24 UCLA 56: At Los Angeles, Mike Gansey scored 24 points, and West Virginia survived a furious rally by the Bruins.

The Mountaineers (14-3) led by 20 points early in the second half but saw their lead shrink to three in the final 2 minutes.

The Bruins (15-4) missed 3-pointers by Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar, then Farmar had the ball stripped by Gansey, who got fouled and hit a free throw before time expired.

Oregon St. 59, Washington St. 50: At Pullman, Wash., Chris Stephens scored 23 points to lead Oregon State.

Wesley Washington, making his first start for Oregon State (10-8, 3-4 Pac-10), had season highs of 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Robbie Cowgill had 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks for Washington State (9-7, 2-5). Kyle Weaver added 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Cougars, who have lost four straight.

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