Sanders' 21 help Fairfield top Arizona State 55-44 - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Sanders' 21 help Fairfield top Arizona State 55-44

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Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2011 8:38 pm | Updated: 2:08 pm, Fri Nov 25, 2011.

(AP) — Rakim Sanders is putting his special talent on display.

Sanders scored 21 points and Fairfield beat Arizona State 55-44 in the first round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday night.

"He's a big-time player," Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson said. "I think we all know that, and I'm just happy he's able to show how skilled he is."

Sanders, who entered averaging 17 points, also had seven rebounds.

Fairfield (3-2) will play Dayton, which beat Wake Forest 80-76, in a winner's bracket game Friday.

Trent Lockett scored 15 points for Arizona State (1-3). The Sun Devils, who had 22 turnovers, will face Wake Forest in a consolation-round matchup Friday. Arizona State has lost three in a row.

"We didn't play very well," Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. "Once again, the turnovers overwhelmed us."

Sanders opened the second half with a reverse layup and hit a jumper during an 8-3 run that put Fairfield ahead 39-22 with 16 minutes left.

Arizona State closed within 46-34 on Kyle Cain's basket with just under 6 minutes to go. After the Sun Devils pulled within 49-42, Fairfield 7-foot center Ryan Olander hit a 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining. He finished with 11 points.

"Coach Sendek does a great job," Johnson said. "I look up to him. I know his guys are going to keep playing."

The Stags scored 23 of their first 41 points off 18 Arizona State turnovers.

Sanders had 15 points to lead Fairfield to a 31-19 halftime lead. Arizona State struggled for the most of the first half, falling behind 7-0 and then trailing 16-7.

"We had 14 turnovers at the half," Sendek said. "We just give ourselves no margin for error. You can't score if you're not shooting."

After Lockett's layup got the Sun Devils within 18-17, Fairfield closed the half with a 13-2 run. Sanders had eight points over the stretch, including two 3-pointers.

Fairfield was 5-for-10 from 3-point range during the first half, while Arizona State missed all six of its attempts.

The Sun Devils finished 2 of 13 from behind the arc.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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