On Wednesday Arizona State defeated Stanford Men’s basketball 98-88 to open the 2017 Pac-12 Conference Championship tournament. The Stanford basketball record drops to 14-17 on the season and 6-13 in Conference play.
The Arizona State Sun Devils started the opening game of the 2017 Pac-12 tournament red-hot and seemingly unable to miss a single shot. The Stanford Cardinal was able to keep pace in the early going through the first five or six minutes of the game but with 14:10 left in the first half ASU took a 15-14 lead and never really looked back. Over the course of the next nine minutes the Sun Devils expanded their lead to 14 points with a score of 36-22 with 6 minutes left in the first half. The first half would come to a close with the Cardinal trailing 50-42.
At the outset of the second half both teams largely traded points back and forth with the Cardinal deficit hovering around 8-10 points. Once the Sun Devils got to about 70 the Cardinal defense began to grind ASU way down. Trailing 70-58 with 11:03 left in the half Stanford began to slowly erode the lead thanks in large part to a switch to a 2-3 zone. Stanford would outscore ASU 23-11 the rest of the half forcing overtime.
Stanford trailed 81-79 with 21 seconds left but the Cardinal had the ball. As Stanford set up for a final shot Christian Sanders would attempt to drive to the basket but the Sun Devils quickly swallowed up the lane. Sanders hastily kicked the ball back out to Michael Humphrey who initially bobbled the pass at the top of key but was able to get the shot off with just a few ticks left. Humphrey nailed the shot and forced overtime.
In the extra frame, however, Stanford returned to form. Arizona State once again was red-hot and started overtime with an 11-3 run. If the Sun Devils were suffering from depth issues they certainly not playing that way. As the clock wound down the Cardinal could not seem to find a bucket. Dorien Pickens, Marcus Allen, and Christian Sanders all missed 3-point attempts. Allen also missed a layup. Stanford trailed 96-84 before Stanford would begin fouling. The Cardinal was able to cut into that lead but it was too little too late.
The first season for Stanford basketball coach Jerod Haase has in all likelihood concluded. ASU will move on to play the Oregon Ducks Thursday at Noon.