Arizona State buried Idaho State with a school-record avalanche of 3-pointers.
The 20th-ranked Sun Devils won 90-55 Tuesday in a rout so
complete coach Herb Sendek could find nothing to criticize.
"You hope at some point synergy - kind of a fun word - takes
over and the whole does become greater than the sum of its parts,
and guys do make each other better, feed off each other and help
each other," Sendek said. "That's the way the game's meant to be
James Harden, who made 3-of-6 3s, scored 18 points in just 26
minutes as Arizona State improved to 10-1, matching its best start
in 34 seasons. All five Arizona State starters hit double figures.
The Sun Devils, who entered the game first among Pac-10 schools
with 8.4 3-pointers a game, made 17-for-32.
"I've been coaching 30 years," Idaho State coach Joe O'Brien
said, "and I don't know that I've been involved in a game where
the opponent shot the ball that well that long. ... They shot the
ball well from start to finish, everybody that played."
Rihards Kuksiks was 5-for-6 on 3s for 15 points, while Ty Abbott
was 4-for-6 and finished with 14 points.
"We finished with 25 assists on 28 baskets, which is somewhat
remarkable," Sendek said.
Harden said Sendek had preached shot preparation all week.
"You know, being ready to shoot when the ball's there, having
your feet under you, just the whole nine yards," Harden said,
"and today we did that."
Kal Bay scored 12 points for the Bengals (2-9). Matt Stucki
added 11 and Chron Tatum had 10.
Derek Glasser had 11 points and matched his career best with
nine assists for Arizona State.
The blowout followed two tense victories for the Sun Devils,
59-58 in overtime over IUPUI and 76-75 over previously unbeaten
Idaho State beat Utah, lost three games in overtime and was
defeated at Wisconsin on a last-second shot, but this won't join
that list of near misses.
"I don't think today is an indication of how good a basketball
team we are or how bad a basketball team we are," O'Brien said.
"It was just a day we need to put behind us. We weren't very good
and they were very, very good."
The Sun Devils made 10-of-17 3-pointers to take a 43-28 halftime
Arizona State's last six field goals of the half were 3s, three
His string of three 3-pointers capped an 18-9 run that put
Arizona State ahead 35-23 with 4:36 left in the half. Abbott's
third 3 of the game, 38 seconds before the break, gave the Sun
Devils their 15-point halftime cushion.
The rout was on after that. The Sun Devils outscored the Bengals
27-4 to start the second half, taking a 70-32 lead with 11:25 to
play. The school 3-point record fell when Jerren Shipp made one
from the corner with 2:50 to play.
Arizona State has one nonconference game left, against Central
Connecticut State on Monday night, before opening Pac-10 play next
Friday at Stanford.
Idaho State travels to Reno on Saturday to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. Tip off is set for 7:05pm.
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