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Harden pushes Arizona State past Oregon


February 05, 2009

James Harden scored 36 points and Jeff Pendergraph had 13 points and seven rebounds as No. 24 Arizona State pulled away in the second half for a 66-57 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-5 Harden, the Pac-10 Conference's scoring leader with a 21.9-point average, scored at least 30 points for the fifth time this season. Harden's 36 is the highest scoring performance in a Pac-10 game this season. His season high is 40 points against UTEP on Nov. 30.

Harden was 11-of-21 from the field, including going 5-of-10 from 3-point range. He made eight of his last 11 shots after starting the game 3-of-9 from the field.

Arizona State (17-5, 6-4) ended a two-game losing streak. The Sun Devils lost at home last week to Washington and Washington State.

Tujuan Porter had 18 points for Oregon (6-16, 0-10), which is off to its worst conference start since 1992-93, when the Ducks lost their first 11 games.

Last season Oregon State became the only team to go 0-18 in Pac-10 history. Oregon hasn't won since beating Long Beach State on Dec. 29.

The Ducks were 17-of-41 from the field after going 10-of-21 in the first half.

During a competitive first half in which there were 12 lead changes, Arizona State scored the final five points to take a 32-27 lead.

Oregon took a 23-21 lead with a 7-0 run while Pendergraph was sidelined with two fouls.

Arizona State quickly put some distance between itself and Oregon at the outset of the second half. Harden hit two 3-pointers as the Sun Devils scored the first eight points to take a 40-27 lead.

Oregon never recovered, as the Ducks couldn't contain the red-hot Harden. He scored 23 points during the second half, seemingly making a big basket any time Oregon started to cut into Arizona State's lead.

Oregon got as close as 49-42 with 8:53 left then Harden scored seven points during a 9-2 run to put the game away.

The game was held up for about 7 minutes when Arizona State guard Derek Glasser lay still and on his back near center court after being hit by an Oregon player setting a screen. Glasser, who suffered a concussion during last Saturday's game against Washington, walked off the court with assistance from ASU trainers.

Arizona State swept the regular season series from Oregon, having beaten the Ducks 76-58 in Tempe on Jan. 10.