Stanford rolls over Arizona State 79-58
Stanford (21-11) built any early 10-point lead, answered when Arizona State tried to make a run and pulled away down the stretch to give its NCAA tournament hopes a huge boost.
Dwight Powell scored 15 points, Josh Huestis added 12 and the Cardinal shot 54 percent to earn a spot in Friday’s semifinals against second-seeded UCLA.
Arizona State (21-11) got off to a sluggish start for the third straight game and never fully recovered as its top players struggled against Stanford’s defense.
Point guard Jahii Carson had a hard time breaking free from the Cardinal’s defenders, scoring 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Second-leading scorer Jermaine Marshall went 2 of 8 for four points and center Jordan Bachynski had seven points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Jonathan Gilling had 13 points and Bo Barnes added 12 in the Sun Devils’ most lopsided loss of the season.
After failing to live up to expectations in Carson’s first season in the desert, the Sun Devils have put themselves in position to make the bracket for the first time since 2009 after winning 21 games in one of the nation’s most difficult schedules.
Arizona State stumbled at the end of the regular season, losing to both Oregon schools, but still managed to earn the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 tournament and a bye for the first round.
Stanford had to play in the opening round Wednesday night and pulled away from Washington State in the second half for an 11-point win.
Despite being rested, the Sun Devils looked like the team that played the night before, missing its first seven shots with a pair of turnovers to fall into a 9-0 hole.
That’s not much of a surprise, though; Arizona State was down 15-0 and 9-1 in its losses to Oregon and Oregon State.
The Sun Devils finally sorted things out and got back into the game with an array of 3-pointers: three by Gilling, two by Barnes.
Stanford had a few shooting problems of its own — 3 for 11 from the arc — but still managed to lead 30-27 at halftime.
The Cardinal opened the second half by making six of their first eight shots and held Arizona State without a field goal for more than 4 minutes, stretching the lead to 45-34 on a 3-pointer by John Gage.
Arizona State tried to make a couple of runs, pulling within six at one point, but Stanford hit 17 of 24 shots in the half to stretch the lead.
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