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South / West Roundup

Syracuse holds off Arizona St.

March 23, 2009|Associated Press

With Syracuse's season on the cusp of slipping away, Eric Devendorf picked the perfect time to be at his best.

Devendorf made a pair of three-pointers less than a minute apart to snuff out a big Arizona State rally, and the third-seeded Orange held on for a 78-67 victory over the sixth-seeded Sun Devils in a South Regional second-round game Sunday at Miami.

Devendorf finished with 21 points and Andy Rautins had 17 for Syracuse (28-9), which moves on to play second-seeded Oklahoma (29-5) in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday.

Rihards Kuksiks scored a career-high 20 points, and Ty Abbott also finished with 20 for Arizona State (25-10), which struggled mightily against Syracuse's zone and led for only 31 seconds all afternoon.

James Harden, the Pacific 10 Conference player of the year, was held to 10 points -- all in the second half -- on two-for-10 shooting for Arizona State.

No. 3 Missouri 83, No. 6 Marquette 79 -- Freshman Kim English came off the bench to "pinch-shoot" for the hurting J.T. Tiller and made two free throws with 5.5 seconds left to give the Tigers the go-ahead points in a West Regional game at Boise, Idaho.

It was quite an encore for English, who scored 15 points in the first half and helped Missouri (30-6) turn a six-point deficit into a 16-point lead.

English was on the bench for most of the second half, but when Tiller fell hard after being fouled with the score tied at 79-79, Coach Mike Anderson took advantage of the rule that allows teams to substitute for an injured free-throw shooter.

He chose English, who made both.

Marquette's Lazar Hayward stepped over the baseline on the ensuing inbounds pass, and the Golden Eagles (25-10) were forced to foul. Leo Lyons made two more free throws to ice the game, and Missouri moved on to the regional semifinals to play Memphis.

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