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Sun Devils rally to claim Wildcat sweep, 59-54

February 10, 2008

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Jeff Pendergraph scored a career-high 29 points, and Arizona State rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to defeat Arizona 59-54 on Sunday afternoon.

Pendergraph hit 12-of-16 shots from the floor as the Sun Devils swept the two-game season series from Arizona for the first time since 1995. The Sun Devils (15-7, 5-5 Pac-10) snapped a five-game losing streak.

After falling behind 22-6 in the first eight minutes, the Sun Devils outscored the Wildcats (15-8, 5-5) 53-32 the rest of the way.

Arizona State overcame a career-high 39 points by Arizona star Jerryd Bayless, who hit his first seven shots from the floor, including four from 3-point range. Bayless came within two points of the McKale Center scoring record of 41 points, set by former Wildcat Al Fleming against Detroit on Jan. 10, 1976.

Bayless missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds to play.

Bayless went 12-of-18 from the floor but had little help from his teammates, who shot a combined 3-for-23. Chase Budinger went 1-for-12.

Early on, it looked as if the Wildcats would win in a rout. The Sun Devils sat back in their zone defense and allowed the Wildcats to fire away at will from beyond the arc. In the first seven minutes, Bayless hit four 3-pointers and Jawann McClellan added another.

Those shots fueled a 17-2 Arizona run that gave the Wildcats a 22-6 lead midway through the first half.

But the game turned when Arizona center Jordan Hill picked up his second foul less than six minutes into the opening half. As Hill watched from the bench, the Sun Devils went on a 19-4 run, with Pendergraph scoring 12 points.

The Wildcat offense sputtered without point guard Nic Wise, who underwent knee surgery last week and may be out for four to six weeks.