Powell, Stanford hold on to beat Arizona St. 62-59

    AP Sports Writer
February 9, 2013

Stanford started the season as a disappointment. Now it is, to borrow Arizona State coach Herb Sendek's word, "absolutely" a force to contend with down the stretch of the Pac-12 season.Dwight Powell scored 22 points, Stanford made 10 of 18 3-pointers and the Cardinal held on to beat Sendek's Sun Devils 62-59 Saturday night.Stanford (15-9, 6-5 Pac-12) won for the fourth time in five games, and sixth straight over Arizona State, earning a split in the desert after losing 73-66 at No. 7 Arizona Wednesday night.Josh Huestis added 13 points and John Gage scored all 11 of his points in the first half for Stanford in a victory that was particularly satisfying coming off such a difficult loss in Tucson."I was worried because the loss was tough," Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said. "I thought we played a great game for 36 minutes (at Arizona) but as you know, it's a 40-minute game. You wonder how your guys are going to respond after investing so much, but our kids, they came back, they showed some resiliency."Carrick Felix scored 16, Jahii Carson 15 and Jonathan Gilling 13 for Arizona State (18-6, 7-4), which fell to 14-3 at home."It's definitely disappointing just because this is our home, this is our house, and we're always taught to protect our house," Felix said. "That's something I don't think we did tonight. It's hard looking at the first half and then comparing it to the second half. In the second half there was energy and we wanted it, but the first half, we didn't have anything."The Sun Devils trailed by as many as 16 in the second half but had a chance to tie at the end, Bo Barnes' 3-pointer bouncing off the rim with five seconds to play.Stanford, the top 3-point shooting team in the conference, was 7 of 11 behind the arc in the first half to go up 36-28 at the break."It was probably one of our best shooting performances for a half," Dawkins said. "I think everyone was hitting shots."Not that making shots is anything unusual lately. Stanford has made 52.7 percent of its 3-pointers in its last five games."We like to shoot with confidence," Powell said. "We try to shoot with confidence."Gage, who leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 48 percent, was 4 for 4 overall, three of them from long range, in the first half. Huestis also was 4 of 4 in the half, two of them 3-pointers, for 10 points.Down 12-8 early, the Cardinal outscored the Sun Devils 26-8 to go up 34-20 with 2:50 left in the half. Felix rattled in a 3 to start an 8-2 spurt over the final 2:24 to cut it to single digits by the break.Stanford built on its lead in the early going in the second half, consecutive 3-pointers by Powell and Aaron Bright - his first field goal of the night in five tries - putting the Cardinal up 48-32 with 14:47 to play.Powell's driving layup made it 54-41 with 12:03. With both of the Sun Devils' big men, Jordan Bachynski and Ruslan Pateev, on the bench to help the matchup situation, Felix's 3-pointer, followed by two Stanford turnovers, triggered Arizona State's comeback. Another 3-pointer by Felix cut it to 56-49, then Jonathan Gilling made both of a one-and-one free throw situation, capping a 10-2 run that cut it to 56-51 with 7:15 to play.Andy Brown followed with a layup for the Cardinal, though, and Stanford led 58-51, then Powell made a pair of free throws to boost the lead to 60-51 with 2:49 left. A driving dunk by Felix, then a layup and one of two free throws for Carson cut the lead to 60-56 with 1:17 to go. Aaron Bright made two free throws to put Stanford up 62-56, but Gilling rebounded an Arizona State miss and sank a 3-pointer to cut it to 62-59 with 14 seconds to play.With 12.5 seconds left, ASU's Colvin tied up Chasson Randle for a jump ball. The possession went to Arizona State but Barnes missed the 3-pointer. Another jump ball on the ensuing scramble gave Stanford the ball.Powell added one last bit of drama when his inbound heave hit the scoreboard, giving Arizona State the ball under its own basket. But Andy Brown intercepted the inbounds pass and Stanford escaped with the victory.Randle played despite a sprained ankle that kept him out of the last two practices.Gordon, who scored 23 on 8 of 13 shooting - 3 of 5 3-pointers - in Thursday night's win over Cal, was just 4 of 16 against Stanford, 1 of 6 on 3-pointers.Arizona State shot a season-worst 34 percent from the floor.--Follow Bob Baum at http://www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx



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