STANFORD — Marcus Sheffield established a career-high point total, but Stanford was unable to keep up with a red-hot Arizona State squad.
The sophomore forward scored 35 points — surpassing his previous best of 17 — in Friday night’s Pac-12 opener, a 98-93 loss to the Sun Devils in front of 3,595 at Maples Pavilion.
After trailing by as many as 13, the Cardinal (8-5, 0-1 Pac-12) got within two on a Sheffield 3-pointer with just under 10 seconds remaining.
But Stanford fell as it was unable to slow down ASU.
Arizona State (8-6, 1-0) shot 54 percent from 3-point range, hitting 13 of 24. A lot of them seemed to be responses to any type of play by Stanford that even hinted at a shift in momentum.
Stanford kept it close for most of the first half, but with about four minutes remaining, the Sun Devils caught fire.
Three consecutive ASU 3-pointers highlighted what turned into an 18-6 run to close the half. Sun Devils guard Torian Graham encapsulated an impressive 16-point half with a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Cardinal to the locker room with a 13-point deficit, down 52-39.
Sheffield helped close the gap by scoring five consecutive points to begin the second half. A two-handed dunk midway through the second would eventually bring Stanford within three points, but Arizona State’s hot-shooting pushed its lead back to double digits.
Graham finished the night by setting a career-high for the third-straight game, scoring 30 points and hitting five of eight from 3.
With Michael Humphrey, second on the…
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