Jaguars go cold late; Sun Devils rally from 16-point deficit to win
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Arizona State forward Rihards Kuksiks, right, of Latvia, celebrates converting his three-point field goal in front of IUPUI forward Leroy Nobles, left, to tie the game at the end of the second half of an NCAA basketball game during the Desert Classic tournament Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Phoenix. Arizona won 59-58 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
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DATE GAME LINKS
· Dec 14, 2008 @ASU 59, IUPU 58 Recap | Box Score
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· Complete Schedule: IUPUI | Arizona State
PHOENIX -- Playing in front of a sparse crowd in an NBA arena, Arizona State looked lost for most of the game.
The Sun Devils found themselves just in time.
• Arizona State improved to 8-1, its best start since 2004-05 (11-1).
• Richard Kuksiks was 6-for-11 on 3-pointers, tying his career high with 18 points. Conversely, leading scorer James Harden finished with a season-low nine points.
• IUPUI fell to 0-7 all-time vs. ranked opponents.
-- ESPN research
Rallying behind a flurry of 3-pointers by Rihards Kuksiks, Arizona State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat IUPUI 59-58 in overtime on Sunday.
"Down 16, our guys had a real gut-check and found a way to win," said Arizona State coach Herb Sendek, whose team improved to 5-0 in overtime the last two seasons. "We were really up against it."
Kuksiks matched his career high with 18 points, all on 3-pointers, to lead the Sun Devils (8-1), who trailed 39-23 in the early minutes of the second half.
Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser scored all of Arizona State's four points in overtime as the Sun Devils relied on their defense to avert a headline-grabbing upset.
IUPUI scored two points in the final 7 minutes of regulation and three in overtime -- all by guard Gary Patterson, who had 19 points.
Arizona State turned the ball over on its final possession of overtime, but IUPUI freshman Alex Young missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"It was a good look, and I'll live with him taking it again," said Patterson, who missed a running 12-footer that would have won the game at the buzzer in regulation.
Young had 19 points for the Jaguars (5-4), who fell to 0-7 all-time against ranked opponents.
"We were disappointed," said IUPUI coach Ron Hunter, who served on Sendek's staff at Miami of Ohio in the 1990s. "We didn't come here to get a moral victory. We came in here with a chip on our shoulder that we were going to play well."