Harden scores 26 as ASU gets second win in 26 tries vs. Arizona

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- For years, Arizona State has tried to create
a basketball rivalry with mighty Arizona.

The Sun Devils may finally have done it.

James Harden scored 26 points as Arizona State defeated Arizona
64-59 in overtime on Wednesday night, the Sun Devils' second
victory in 26 games against their neighbors from Tucson.

"At least I can say I got them once," said ASU junior Jeff
Pendergraph, who had lost his first four games against the

Arizona (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) isn't quite so mighty without leading scorer Jerryd
Bayless and forward Bret Brielmaier, who played briefly before
injuring his shoulder. But that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of
students who rushed the court to celebrate the rare win. ASU had
dropped 12 straight to Arizona.

Harden hit only 1-of-6 shots in the first half. But he scored 22
of his points after halftime, including five in overtime, as the
Sun Devils (13-2, 3-0 Pac-10) overcame a nine-point second half

"In the first half, we were looking for an easy way out,"
Harden said.

And in the second half? "It was crunch time," Harden said.
"It was time to go."

Arizona State won its ninth straight game, the team's longest
winning streak since December 2004. The Sun Devils won their first
three Pac-10 games for the third time since it joined the
conference in 1978-79.

Jordan Hill scored 18 points and had 14 rebounds for Arizona
(10-5, 1-2 Pac-10). Chase Budinger add 14 points for Arizona, which
shot 38.9 percent from the floor.

Hill and Budinger shot a combined 12-for-31 from the floor.

"When Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger shoot like that,
especially with our injuries, it's going to be hard for us to score
and win," Arizona coach Kevin O'Neill said.

Still, the short-handed Wildcats had a chance to escape with a

Arizona led 55-50 with 1:33 to play in regulation when ASU's
Ty Abbott hit a 3-pointer. After Hill traveled, Harden drove to tie
the game at 55-55 with 1:00 to go, and neither team scored in the
final minute.

"We led the game for a long time," O'Neill said. "We had some
great opportunities to win the game and didn't finish the job."

The Wildcats took a 59-58 lead on Hill's basket with 1:45 to go
in overtime. Harden answered with a driving basket, and then
Arizona's Nic Wise missed a 3-pointer.

Harden missed on another drive, but Pendergraph laid in the
rebound to put the Sun Devils up 62-59 with 12 seconds to play.
Pendergraph added two free throws in the final seconds and finished
with 14 points.

Pendergraph said he was "kind of, sort of" stunned to be all
alone under the basket, but the Wildcats had swarmed to stop

"I was just standing there," Pendergraph said.

Arizona's players looked on glumly as the students rushed the

"It's a tough loss," Budinger said. "We just couldn't finish
out at the end."

The Wildcats had beaten ASU 24 of 25 times dating to 1995. But a
sellout crowd of 13,947 -- the first since 2005 -- turned out to see
if the upstart Sun Devils could end the domination against the
short-handed Wildcats.

It was an ugly game, as ASU forced the Wildcats to play at their
glacial pace. The teams combined for 17 field goals and 16
turnovers in the first half; Arizona led 28-21 at intermission.

The Sun Devils hit only three of their first 18 shots from the
floor and went more than eight minutes without a bucket midway
through the first half.

"I thought both teams played with a lot of heart," Sendek
said. "It wasn't artistic."

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