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Too much of Pendergraph sends Stanford to first loss

Jan 3, 2009 - 8:40 AM PALO ALTO, California (Ticker) -- Jeff Pendergraph showed Stanford just how fragile its undefeated record was.

Pendergraph scored a career-high 31 points as No. 14 Arizona State thrashed previously unbeaten Stanford with a 90-60 victory in Friday's Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams.

James Harden shook off a slow start to score 17 points and Derek Glasser chipped in 13 for the Sun Devils (12-1, 1-0 Pac-10), who opened their conference schedule with a win for just the second time in the last six seasons.

However, Arizona State is expected to contend for a league crown this season behind Pendergraph and Harden, who showed their worth on Friday.

Meanwhile, Stanford (10-1, 0-1) got an early measuring stick on how tough its campaign in the Pac-10 will be after going through a non-conference schedule that included no team better than Texas Tech.

The Cardinal absorbed their largest loss to the Sun Devils and suffered their biggest setback in the Pac-10 since a 32-point defeat at Arizona on February 28, 1998.

"We came out with a swagger, saying we're capable of this or that, but you have to do it on the court," Stanford forward Lawrence Hill said. "We've been putting on a front, thinking we can, but actions speak louder than thoughts or words."

A senior forward, Pendergraph got the Sun Devils off to a great start, scoring 21 points in the first half as the Sun Devils took a 43-30 lead at the break.

"The biggest disappointment was the way we started off the game," said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins, who was working the sideline in his first Pac-10 contest. "I felt like we were fighting uphill after the way we started."

Sophomore star Harden picked up the slack after intermission, collecting all of his points after going 0-of-4 from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Harden normally is the starting point of the offense for the Sun Devils, but they turned to Pendergraph after he proved to have the hot hand.

"You play so many games, you got to be able to win in different ways," Arizona State coach Herb Sendek told The Arizona Republic. "You're not going to be able to win the same way every night ... and it's incumbent upon the offense to try and find what's there."

Pendergraph finished 14-of-19 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. He also collected three steals.

Harden also posted a double-double, notching 10 assists for the second time this season.

The Sun Devils finished 59 percent (36-of-61) from the field, marking the third straight game in which they have shot 50 percent or better.

"It was just a nice testament to show we're still rolling," Pendergraph told The Republic.

Hill scored 14 points for the Cardinal, who struggled from behind the arc - going 2-of-18 on 3-pointers.

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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Arizona State(14) 90, Stanford 60  FinalJan 3 5:50 AM

    --- --- -----
    ARIZONA ST (14) 43 47 90
    STANFORD 30 30 60 FINAL

    Jan 3 12:10 AM

    (14) ARIZONA ST 43

    Jan 2 11:13 PM