- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

From combined dispatches

No. 6 ARIZONA ST. 66, No. 11 TEMPLE 57: James Harden made only one field goal Friday, and it was a big one.

Arizona State’s scoring leader struggled most of the game but sank a 3-pointer with 4:02 left, helping the Sun Devils (25-9) hold off the Owls (22-12) in the first round in Miami.

Harden went 1-for-8 and was held to nine points, less than half his average. Junior Derek Glasser scored a career-high 22 points and Jeff Pendergraph also had 22 for the Sun Devils, playing in the tournament for the first time since 2003.

Arizona State reached the 25-win milestone for the first time since 1975.

Dionte Christmas scored 29 to lead Temple, which was eliminated in the opening round for the second year in a row and hasn’t won a tournament game since 2001.

Temple never led and trailed by eight midway through the second half before making a charge. Christmas scored three consecutive baskets to cut the margin to 52-49, the smallest since early in the game, but the Owls could get no closer.

No. 3 SYRACUSE 59, No. 14 S.F. AUSTIN 44: Jonny Flynn scored 16 points, Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku each added 12 as the Orange (27-9) beat NCAA first-timer Stephen F. Austin (24-8) in Miami.

Syracuse ran out to a 20-4 lead, never letting the Southland Conference champions get anything going.

Benson Akpan led the Lumberjacks with 12 points, with Nick Shaw adding 10. They missed 12 of their first 13 shots and didn’t connect from 3-point range until Walt Harris hit from the left wing with 11:25 remaining — on their 16th try from beyond the arc. They finished 2-for-21 from 3-point range, and that played perfectly into Syracuse’s hands.

By the end, the only drama remaining was if Syracuse would turn in its best defensive showing in NCAA history. In 80 games, Syracuse’s all-time low for NCAA points allowed was 43 against Princeton in 1992; Jereal Scott made sure it stayed that way, hitting two free throws for the Lumberjacks with 12.9 seconds left.

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