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January 30, 2010Senior point guard Derek Glasser didn't start for the first time in 50-plus games dating to the 2008-09 season opener, but it probably didn't matter.
Heck, the Sun Devils might have been able to get away without anyone at point guard considering they made 19 of their first 25 shots in Saturday's 88-70 win over Stanford at Wells Fargo Arena.
Freshman Demetrius Walker got the start at point guard, but it was junior Ty Abbott who was white hot from the outset, making his first six 3-pointers and eight of nine field goal attempts total for 22 points in the first half, as ASU sprinted to a 41-11 early lead and never looked back.
Abbott made 11-of-14 field goal attempts in the game for a season-high 29 points, and also had a career-best 12 rebounds. Freshman Trent Lockett had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds, as he started again with Jamelle McMillan sitting out due to plantar fasciitis.
With the score 20-11 early, the Sun Devils put together a blitzkrieg 21-0 run in just over four minutes of action, with Abbott scoring eight points in the run after earlier scoring ASU's first three field goals of the game -- all 3-pointers -- to help spark a 10-2 start.
"It seemed like for a second there in the first half he was shooting the basketball into an ocean, it didn't matter what he was doing or where he was shooting from, it was going in," Glasser said.
Abbott said the looks weren't that much different from those the team had more often than not missed in its last two games, both home losses.
"I wouldn't say it was better shots, we took our time on our shots and focused," Abbott said. "We realized the two games before that we missed a lot of open looks. So we made it a point the past couple days to just relax and shoot our shots regardless of someone's there or not. A lot of guys did that today and it paid off."
ASU (15-7, 5-4 in the Pac-10) got a much needed confidence boost heading into an important road trip to Washington next weekend, while Stanford (10-11, 4-5) will look to rebound after getting swept on its Arizona trip.
"Obviously a great bounce back game for us," ASU coach Herb Sendek said. "I'm really proud of the way our guys regrouped and came out and played in the first half. Obviously Ty Abbott was spectacular. You can't say enough about him. He propelled us to the lead in the first half and just played a fantastic game.
We shot the ball well. We didn't do anything dramatically different than we'd done the last two games offensively. I don't even think it was a function of us getting better shots than we've gotten in previous games. We just made a higher percentage of them and had a guy like Ty play really, really well."
After struggling to shoot the ball early -- Stanford made just 8-of-32 from the field and went 0-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half -- the ball started to drop for the Cardinal, which eventually cut its deficit to 76-63 with just under four minutes to play. But there wasn't enough time to make up for the huge hole it put itself in.
Landry Fields led Stanford with 22 points and Jeremy Green added 20, 18 of which came after intermission.
Glasser played well, according to his coach with 12 points and 10 assists in 35 minutes of action, though he made just 1-of-6 from the field.
"It's no secret that I've been struggling," Glasser said. "The past two games I hadn't been holding my own on the defensive end and I didn't deserve to start. I wasn't playing as well as other guys were. Demetrius has been playing better in practice. He may not have shot the ball that well against Cal but he played well. Whatever coach decides to do he decides to do. I know he's going to put us in the best decision to win and I respect any decision he makes. I've just got to keep my head up and keep shooting."
It's something his teammates had little problem with Saturday, making 56 percent of their shots from the field including 12-of-25 (48 percent) from 3-point range.