Stanford upsets Arizona State 70-61 in Pac-10Posted: Updated:
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Arizona State came up with a clunker just when it needed a win.
Losing 70-61 to Stanford in the Pac-10 Conference tournament quarterfinals Thursday night may have cost the Sun Devils a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Regular-season champion California is expected to get in, and Arizona State seemed to have earned its way in by finishing second.
But then came Stanford.
Jeremy Green scored 18 points and Landry Fields added 17 for the seventh-seeded Cardinal, who dominated against a team that swept them in the regular season.
Now, the Sun Devils have to hope the NCAA tournament committee is feeling generous toward the Pac-10 in what has been a down year for the conference, which doesn't have any teams in the AP Top 25.
"I don't know how anybody knows," Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. "Obviously, the more you win, the better your chances get. We'll have to hope for the best."
Stanford (14-17) advanced to Friday's semifinals against third-seeded Washington, which beat No. 6 Oregon State 59-52.
Arizona State (22-10) led just once - by one point early in the second half. Rihards Kuksiks scored 15 points, all in the first half, before he fouled out in the closing seconds.
"We didn't play our best and Stanford deserves a great deal of credit for that," Sendek said. "They really did a good job defensively. It seemed like everything came hard for us."
Stanford immediately grabbed the lead back for good, running up a 15-point advantage on a 3-pointer by Fields with 11:43 remaining. It capped eight straight points by the first-team All-Pac-10 senior.
Fields didn't have one of his typically good games. He was just 4 of 11 from the line and committed six of Stanford's 13 turnovers.
"That's the best part of about it," he said. "We can still get a win. It's a credit to my teammates."
The Sun Devils never made a big run, and didn't get their deficit under double digits until late. Derek Glasser had 14 points and Eric Boateng finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
"We just didn't take care of the ball and we didn't execute the way we have been all year," said Ty Abbott, an All-Pac-10 first-team pick who made just 4 of 16 shots and finished with 10 points. "We just didn't perform."
Emmanuel Igbinosa added 12 points for the Cardinal, who are seeking a return to the title game for the first time since losing to UCLA in 2008. The senior hasn't played Thursday night road games this season because they conflict with a required psychology class. He usually misses a couple practices during the week, too.
"I told them well ahead of time I wouldn't be able to make it and I did coursework ahead," he said.
Arizona State was held to 39 percent shooting from the floor. The Cardinal scored 25 points off the Sun Devils' 17 turnovers.
Arizona State had won eight of 10 coming into its first-ever meeting with Stanford in the tournament. The Sun Devils tied the game twice in the first half, but the Cardinal went ahead by 10 early on a layup by Fields.
Arizona State finished runner-up to Southern California in last year's tourney. The Trojans didn't play this season because of self-imposed sanctions involving former star O.J. Mayo's interactions with an agent.
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