Graham's 30 points lead Arizona State past Stanford 98-93
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley needs more production from his reserves so he's asked leading scorer Torian Graham to come off the bench.
The senior guard didn't have to wait long to contribute Friday night, coming in after just 40 seconds and responding with a career-high 30 points as the Sun Devils outgunned Stanford 98-93 in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams Friday night.
''I was ready,'' said Graham, who recorded a career-best for the third straight game and had the highest point total off the bench for ASU in 12 seasons.
The Sun Devils (8-6, 1-0) built a 52-39 halftime lead by scoring on 15 of their final 16 possessions and never let the Cardinal (8-5, 0-1) regain the lead.
''Torian, it doesn't matter to him. He's a loyal guy and he accepts any role I give him,'' Hurley said. ''He may only be (on the bench) for a minute, which was the case tonight. He's one of the best all-around players in the conference. He made tough shots tonight.''
Graham, who made five of ASU's 13 3-pointers, said he's comfortable with however Hurley uses him.
''I'm accepting the role,'' he said. ''It's exciting, honestly, to be able to bring a spark off the bench.''
Stanford coach Jerod Haase said the Cardinal's lax defense at the outset helped Graham get untracked.
''Torian was fantastic, obviously,'' Haase said. ''I thought early in the game that he had looks that were pretty clean. That kind of set the tone for the game. When good shooters get confidence it's hard to stop them.''
ASU's Tra Holder added a season-best 25 points before fouling out in the final minute.
Stanford sophomore Marcus Sheffield scored 35 points - more than doubling his previous career best of 17. He had 15 in the final 3:46 as Stanford fought back from a 10-point hole to get as close as four points.
Teammate Reid Travis wasn't surprised by Sheffield's breakout game.
''I think it just comes with all younger players: confidence,'' said Travis, who had 21 points. ''He got his looks tonight, he took advantage of it. Our team is so unselfish, that once a guy gets it we're going to keep feeding him.''
Dorian Pickens scored 18 for the Cardinal, but missed two key free throws with 48 seconds left.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils will have to bear up while playing five of their first seven Pac-12 games on the road. This is the fifth time in nine seasons ASU has faced that early-season challenge. No other conference school has started with five of seven on the road as often over that span and Stanford has never had to deal with it.
Stanford: Jerod Haase failed in his bid to become just the second Stanford coach since 1954-55 to win his conference debut. Neither Johnny Dawkins (2008-09) nor Trent Johnson (2004-05) could do it. Mike Montgomery won his first league game in 1986-87, but before that the last Stanford coach who won his first conference game was Howie Dallmar back in 1954-55.
1993 REUNION: Haase and Hurley squared off on the court as college players 24 seasons ago when Cal scored an 82-77 upset win over two-time defending national champion Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Hurley scored 32 points in his last game as a senior at Duke and Haase had 13 for Cal, then transferred to Kansas after his freshman campaign.
ON THE SHELF: Stanford junior forward Michael Humphrey, who has started nine games and is the club's No. 3 scorer (7.4 ppg), is in concussion protocol after an incident in practice on Monday and did not play. He will be re-evaluated before the Cardinal's game Sunday vs. Arizona.
TAR HEELS TO VISIT: Stanford announced a home-and-home arrangement with North Carolina, beginning next season when the Tar Heels visit Maples Pavilion on Nov. 20, 2017. The only other time UNC played at Stanford was during the 1983-84 season when Michael Jordan led the top-ranked Tar Heels to an 88-75 win over the Cardinal. The teams will meet again at Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Nov. 12, 2018.
Arizona State visits Cal on Sunday. The Sun Devils lost both meetings last season after winning the previous five meetings.
Stanford takes on No. 18 Arizona on Sunday at Maples Pavilion. The Wildcats have beaten the Cardinal 13 straight times, including by margins of 32 and 14 points last season.