TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Christian Polk says he takes a lot of tough
at-the-buzzer shots in practice. Few could have been tougher than
the one he put down to beat Iowa on Saturday night.
Polk, one of three freshmen in first-year coach Herb Sendek's
starting lineup, made a 35-footer under pressure at the shot-clock
buzzer with 12.7 seconds to play to give Arizona State a wild 67-64
come-from-behind victory over the Hawkeyes.
"It was pretty far," Polk said, "pretty far."
Sendek said he almost called timeout three times during what
turned out to be the game-winning possession, but decided that
sometimes chaos results in a better shot in such situations.
"It was no more than just a gut feel by me and a stroke of luck
for us," he said, "because it certainly was a difficult shot."
The first offensive set broke down, and so did the next one.
That left Polk with no choice but to cast off. He went crashing to
the floor as the ball went through.
"It's not one that you ever draw up," Sendek said, "but you
know Christian has an unteachable, uncanny ability to get his shot,
and he does make difficult shots. Fortunately for us, that one went
Arizona State outscored Iowa 19-4 over the final six minutes.
"When you give up that many points in the last four minutes,
then you take the risk of somebody throwing in a shot like that,"
Iowa coach Steve Alford said. "That's not a shot you probably make
if you shoot 10 times but we set ourselves up for a shot like that
to go in because of the way we guarded the last four minutes."
Iowa's Tony Freeman missed a 3-pointer just before the finish. A
turnover gave Iowa one last shot with less than a second to play,
but Brett Wessel's desperation attempt was far off the mark.
Polk scored 20, including 4-of-5 3-pointers, two of them in the
final two minutes. Serge Angounou added 14 points and 12 rebounds
for the Sun Devils (3-2).
Down 60-48, the Sun Devils scored 13 consecutive points to go up
61-60 on Polk's 3-pointer from the corner with two minutes to play.
Angounou's 3-pointer put Arizona State ahead 64-62, then Smith's
tip-in tied it at 64 with 48 seconds to play.
The Sun Devils shot 10-for-16 from 3-point range, 8-for-11 in
the second half. They started three freshmen for the first time
since the 1999-2000 season.
The Hawkeyes used a 10-0 run at the end of the first half and
start of the second to go up 35-25, but Arizona State responded
with a 12-3 spurt to cut it to 38-37 on Jerren Shipp's 3-pointer
with 14:29 to play.
Tyler Smith scored on a left-handed drive, then Haluska sank a
3-pointer and Iowa boosted its lead to 43-37. Seth Gorney's inside
basket capped a 9-2 run that gave the Hawkeyes their biggest lead,
60-48, six minutes from the finish.
The Sun Devils scored the first 13 points of the game.
But the Hawkeyes outscored Arizona State 31-12 the rest of the
half to lead 31-25.
With the Arizona State football team play at Arizona, about half
the fans in attendance were rooting for Iowa.