Arizona State routs Idaho State - East Valley Tribune: News

Arizona State routs Idaho State

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Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 2:42 pm | Updated: 11:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

He found the holiday spirit Tuesday afternoon - a 90-55 victory will do that to a basketball coach - so Herb Sendek threw out "synergy," one of his favorite words, but one he rarely uses to describe performances.

SLIDESHOW: ASU vs. Idaho State mens basketball

He found the holiday spirit Tuesday afternoon - a 90-55 victory will do that to a basketball coach - so Herb Sendek threw out "synergy," one of his favorite words, but one he rarely uses to describe performances.

SLIDESHOW: ASU vs. Idaho State mens basketball

That's because he's a stickler for detail and perfection, but even Sendek had a difficult time coming up with shortcomings after 20th-ranked Arizona State dismantled Idaho State at Wells Fargo Arena. It meant the Sun Devils could scatter for the next few days before returning to practice on Friday to prepare for their final nonconference tuneup against Central Connecticut State on Monday.

Until then, they can eat and be merry after they nailed a school-record 17 3-pointers, shot 51 percent from the floor and actually doubled their 15-point halftime lead after intermission and went deep into the bench with 10 minutes remaining.

"You hope at some point synergy - kind of a fun word - takes over," Sendek said. "It takes over and the whole does become greater than the sum of the parts, and guys make each other better. They can feed off each other and help each other. That's the way the game's meant to be played. It's a fun way to play, and I thought we really did a good job with that."

The stat sheet told the tale. ASU (10-1) had 25 assists on 28 field goals, committed only eight turnovers, had all five starters score in double figures and had plenty of productive minutes from the reserves.

It matches the program's best 11-game start to a season in 34 years, equaled only by the 2004-05 team.

"It was a fun game, from our standpoint, to watch," Sendek said.

"It was good basketball."

Aware that Idaho State (2-9) beat Utah and had the ball with a chance to win at Wisconsin, the Sun Devils were worried, and allowed Idaho State to hang around for the first 15 minutes before putting the pedal to the metal.

The lead was in double digits with seven minutes left in the first half and was 43-28 at halftime.

"We picked it up earlier than usual," said James Harden, who finished with a game-high 18 points and five assists. "Guys locked in."

ASU has struggled in the couple times it has held commanding leads this season, but not this time. Rihards Kuksiks, Ty Abbott and Harden combined to shoot 16-for-25 from the field and 12-for-18 from beyond the arc. And once Harden started drawing attention early in the second half, Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser made it look easy.

"I've been coaching 30 years and I don't know that I've been involved a game where the opponent shot the ball that well for that long," Idaho State coach Joe O'Brien said.

The previous school record of 16 3-pointers came last February in a home loss to Cal, as well as in a 1992 game against BYU.

"Obviously we shot the ball well, and it helps in a lot of areas," Sendek said.

"A lot of things look good and feel good and go your way when you shoot the way we did."

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