Harden, Sun Devils hold off Owls

Harden, Sun Devils hold off Owls

Published Mar. 21, 2009 12:51 a.m. ET

On the eve of Arizona State's first NCAA tournament game since 2003, James Harden had teammates laughing when he teased point guard Derek Glasser about being reluctant to shoot.

ASU grounds Owls

Video: Hear from Arizona State after beating Temple, 66-57, and advancing to the second round.

So when Harden had trouble getting going Friday against Temple, guess who came to the rescue?

Glasser scored a career-high 22 points, and the Sun Devils overcame a second consecutive subpar performance by Harden to win 66-57.

"It was one of those games where my shot wasn't falling," said Harden, the Pac-10 player of the year. "My teammates picked it up, definitely - Derek throughout the entire game."

Harden scored nine points, less than half his average. And while he made only one shot, it was a big one: a 3-pointer with 4:02 left that helped to squelch a Temple comeback.

Glasser also connected from behind the arc. The junior went 4-for-5 on 3s as Arizona State (25-9) reached the 25-win milestone for the first time since 1975.

Seeded sixth in the South Region, the Sun Devils will play Sunday against Syracuse (27-9), which beat Stephen F. Austin 59-44.

No. 11-seed Temple (22-12) was eliminated in the opening round for the second year in a row and hasn't won a tournament game since 2001. Senior Dionte Christmas scored 29 in his final game for the Owls.

"If you would have told us that James Harden would have ended up with nine points and I would have had 29 points and we lost the game, I would have thought you were crazy," Christmas said.