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A First Half for the Ages: Sun Devils Cut Down The Trees

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Electric. On-Fire. Unstoppable. Can't Miss.  Those are just a few of the adjectives which sum up the Devils first half against Stanford Saturday morning.  ASU came out chomping at the bit, and unfortunately for Stanford, they were the bit.  Ty Abbott was 6-6 from behind the arc in the first 10 minutes of the game, catapulting the Devils to a commanding 41-11 lead.  Abbott posted a double-double, with 29 points and 12 rebounds.  For a team that has been mired in poor and sometimes pathetic shooting the past two games, they sure broke out of it in a big way.

Trent Lockett also contributed in a big way, with 17 points, 8 assists, and 6 boards.  In a game where Herb Sendek was sending a message from the beginning to senior PG Derek Glasser by starting Demetrius Walker, Glasser somewhat answered the call.  Glasser scored 10 points and had 12 assists, including his 500th career assist, to help provide a spark off the bench (although no spark was really needed).  

Stanford may have been run down after hanging with Arizona on Thursday, and their sluggishness showed.  Making an appearance for the Trees was fifth year senior and once starting QB Tavita Pritchard.  Pritchard started for Stanford in 2007 and 2008 and made his basketball debut against the Sun Devils with 2 solid minutes of playing time.

What this game tells us all is that when the Devils shoot well, it transitions to their defense.  Their D played as well as it has all season in the first half. Abbott showed us all that he can take over this team and be the energetic leader on both sides of the ball.  If only we had this version of Ty last year to compliment Harden, Pendergraph, and last years version of Rik Kuksiks.  

The second half was a slightly different story, but how could it not be?  The Cardinal outscored the Devils and made the game appear much closer than it actually was.  The final score was 88-70 as Stanford closed the gap.

Looking forward, the Devils play the Washington schools next week and it looks like J-Mac (Jamelle McMillan for those who were wondering) will return.  He plans to practice on Tuesday and play Thursday.  This could be exactly what the Devils need as McMillan's poise tends to be a good change from Glasser.  With a sweep of the Washington schools, the Devils will once again find themselves perched near the top of the league and in talks for the tournament.