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Arizona State falls to Stanford, 62-59

February 11, 2013

A poor shooting performance plagued Arizona State against Stanford, and despite clawing their way back from a 16 point deficit, fell to the Cardinals, 62-59.

Carrick Felix led the way for ASU, recording a double-double with 16 points on 5-13 shooting and 10 rebounds. Jahii Carson had 15 points on 7-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

As a team Arizona State shot a tough 34.4 percent (22-64), opposed to Stanford's 47.8 percent (22-46). The Sun Devils hoisted 18 more shots than the Cardinals, but could not convert on the majority of them.

The Sun Devils jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Stanford opened the first half hot from the perimeter. The Cardinals made their first two three-pointers, and four out of their first five. For ASU, it started 0-3 from deep before Evan Gordon got one to finally fall. The Devils led 10-8 at the first official timeout.

Stanford started the game shooting very well from the field in general, sinking its first seven of 11 shots, opposed to Arizona State, who started 7-16. Still, the Sun Devils managed to stick around, thanks to four offensive rebounds to Stanford's zero. The Cardinals led by one with 11:41 to play, 17-16.

Gordon, who has averaged 16.2 points and 39.0 minutes over the past five games, began the game shooting 3-5 with seven points. A player who mainly stayed outside the perimeter at the beginning of the season, Gordon has begun finding success when he attacks the basket, and has done so more often as the year moves forward.

The Sun Devils began to find themselves in a bit of trouble midway through the first half, as Stanford forward John Gage hit on a three-pointer, forcing ASU head coach Herb Sendek to call a timeout with the Cardinals on a 11-0 run, leading 26-16.

Out of the timeout Gordon missed a runner in the lane, and Gage again made Arizona State pay with another three-pointer. Carson finally got a running leaner to go through on the next possession, ending a 14-0 Stanford run.

Over the course of the run, the Sun Devils shot 0-6, including going 0-2 from the free throw line with two turnovers. With 3:55 to play in the first half the Cardinals held a 31-18 advantage.

Thanks to a three-pointer from Jonathan Gilling with seconds remaining in the first half, the Sun Devils were able to escape into the locker room at halftime only down eight, 36-28. They could feel fortunate about where they stood after the first 20 minutes, for they shot a less than impressive 36.4 percent (12-33) from the field, missing 13 of 16 at one point. Stanford shot 58.3 percent on the half (14-24), including 7-11 from three, but ASU had eight offensive rebounds to the Cardinals' one.

Carson led the Devils at the half with eight points on 4-7 shooting, three assists and three rebounds. Forward Josh Huestis for Stanford led all scorers with 10 points on 4-4 shooting.

The halftime break did nothing to slow down the Stanford shooting from beyond the arc. They hit on two-straight, and with 16:27 to play led 46-32, showing no signs of slowing down. The Cardinals made their first nine of 13 from beyond the arc.

After a pair of calls that went against the Sun Devils, the crowd began to get rowdy, rejuvenating the previously quiet Wells Fargo Arena. Felix answered the crowd's calls with an elbow-three pointer and with 11:27 to play Arizona State cut the lead to only ten.

To get the lead under double-digits, Felix once again found himself open on the same elbow, converting on another three to cut the lead to seven. Momentum began to swing as the crowd became a factor, evident by a sprawling Chris Colvin laying out on the ground to grab a loose ball and getting the timeout in the process. At the official timeout with 7:15 to play, the Sun Devils only trailed 56-49.

The lead bobbed up and down, but with 3:19 to play remained at seven, Arizona State unable to sustain a run to pull itself closer. They had a couple of open looks in which they could have capitalized on but didn't, hindering them in their attempt to come back.

Stanford did a tremendous job on defense against Carson in the second half, getting good rotation from the big men down low when Carson would drive to the bucket. The length of the big man forced him to hoist a shot over their outstretched arms, leaving no easy looks at the basket.

With 1:15 to play, Carson was able to find a path to the basket, hitting on his layup to cut the lead to four. After two made Stanford free throws, Gilling put up a desperation three on the other end, which dropped for him. The lead remained 62-59 with 14.6 seconds left.

Off the inbound, the duo of Carson and Felix forced a jump ball, giving the advantage back to the Sun Devils. Bo Barnes missed a three, giving the ball back to Stanford, who again turned it over off the inbound. This gave the ball back to ASU with .7 seconds to play, but Carson could not find anybody open off the inbound, turning it over and ending the game.

With the loss, the Sun Devils fall to (18-6; 7-4). They will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday, as they travel to Salt Lake City, Utah for a 6:00 p.m. (MT) tilt against Utah.