Arizona State
99 - 90 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Abbott's 3-pointers lead Arizona State over California

Jan 18, 2008 - 7:55 AM BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Freshman Ty Abbott's outside shooting kept Arizona State alive and eventually gave the Sun Devils a wild win.

Abbott had a season-high 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, and freshman James Harden scored 25 of his season-high 27 after halftime as No. 25 Arizona State outlasted California, 99-90, in a frenzied Pac-10 Conference classic in double overtime Thursday.

Jeff Pendergraph chipped in 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting for the Sun Devils, who won their 10th straight game for the first time since winning 11 in a row during the 1980-81 campaign.

"I know one team finished with more points, but both teams are really winners the way they played," Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. "It was a hard-fought game. Both teams played a high level of offense.

"We were lucky, in a hard-fought game, it tilted our way. On some occasions we had to have near-perfect plays, and we did."

The amazing contest featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes - 11 in the second half - with no team having a lead bigger than nine points. The game, which was a far cry from Arizona State's 42-41 victory last season, was close in the final minute before Abbott came through to extend the contest.

The Sun Devils (14-2, 4-0 Pac-10) were down by three when Abbott nailed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds to play, tying the game at 81-81. California never got a final shot off in regulation.

"We said no threes," California coach Ben Braun said. "That's just a play where you have to communicate. You hate to see a game come down to one shot, but that was a huge play because it got them into overtime."

In the first extra period, the Bears (11-5, 2-3) scored the first four points before the Sun Devils rallied to tie the game at 88-88 on Abbott's fifth 3-pointer with 1:27 left.

Both teams had a chance to win it in the final 12 seconds of the first overtime, but Abbott and Arizona State's Jerome Randle each missed 3-pointers, sending the contest to a second extra period.

From there, Arizona State seized control early.

Ryan Anderson's 3-pointer gave the Bears a one-point lead, but Harden made a jumper to put the Sun Devils in front and Abbott buried two straight shots from the arc to give Arizona State a 95-88 advantage with 1:50 remaining.

"We shot 60 percent in the second half against a pretty stingy defense, a pretty stingy zone, so if you go back, I was disappointed because we didn't get the stops we needed," Braun said.

California missed its final four shots from the field and could not get any closer, finally putting an end to the frantic contest.

The 18-year-old Harden, who is the Pac-10's youngest player, shot 10-of-14 from the floor for his fifth straight 20-point game. Abbott added nine rebounds and five assists to go with his 25 points.

The two freshmen helped the Sun Devils get their first true road win of the season after going 1-11 away from home during last season's woeful 8-22 campaign.

"They (the young players) are playing with a lot of confidence," Sendek said. "Our older guys have helped them a lot. We were trailing in some crucial situations and he (Abbott) stepped up."

The Sun Devils' win overshadowed the performance from Anderson, the Pac-10's leading scorer who finished with 32 points and 15 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Patrick Christopher chipped in 23 points for the Bears, who have lost three of their last four.

After the Bears went up, 80-76, on two free throws by Anderson, Pendergraph hit a layup to cut the deficit back down to two. Anderson then made only 1-of-2 foul shots with 35 seconds left in regulation, which gave the Sun Devils a chance to tie the game.

The Sun Devils will travel to Stanford on Saturday, looking to go 5-0 in the conference for the first time since the 1979-80 season.

"This league is amazing," Sendek said. "Stanford is up there as one of the better teams in the conference, just like Cal. With a short turnaround after a double-overtime game, we are going to have to refill our tanks and be ready for Saturday."