Three 90-plus Nights in November, ASU Basketball Improves to 3-0
By TJ Mathewson // Men’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s safe to say the game Friday night was never really in doubt for ASU. Arizona State did its part and routed NAU to improve to 3-0 on the young season by a score of 97-62.
Northern Arizona (0-2) is coming off a couple of bad losses, a blowout by the hands of the Arizona Wildcats and a close loss to Embry-Riddle, an aeronautical school located in Prescott, Ariz., so confidence wasn’t exactly booming for the Lumberjacks.
The Sun Devils had to be careful to avoid a letdown performance after the big win Tuesday versus SDSU, and they avoided it. Right out of the gates, ASU jumped out to a 15-3 lead with just under five minutes to go in the first half and never looked back.
“We were just on the attack on both ends,” coach Bobby Hurley said. “We have got to be ready to play 40-minute games at a high level no matter what the competition is.”
“We have great leaders, and our coaching staff does a great job of making sure that we are prepared and ready,” senior guard Shannon Evans said.
The combination of De’Quon Lake and Romello White were too much to handle for the Lumberjacks. White set a collegiate career high with 25 points to go along with the collection of six rebounds.
Lake would go off too. He recorded his first double-double as a Sun Devil, putting up 17 points and 12 rebounds on seven for eight shooting.
“This is just the beginning for (Lake) as he continues to grow as a player,” Hurley said on Lake’s performance.
Despite the fact ASU was out-rebounded 42-35, they dominated points in the paint (42-24), along with second-chance points (16-7).
ASU continued to look very sound on the defensive end during this game, only allowing NAU to shoot 32 percent from the field. The Sun Devils also scored 24 points off of 24 Lumberjack turnovers.
All the while ASU’s offense was free flowing. ASU shot 52 percent from the field, turned the ball over 11 times and created an assist on 24 of the 33 made baskets.
Evans continued to distribute the ball well, dishing out eight assists to go along with his 20 points. Tra Holder continues to rise up the ASU scoring leaderboards, scoring 12 of his now 1,269 points in his Sun Devil career. Holder also collected nine rebounds and six assists.
“You can tell he’s really focused on rebounding,” Hurley said. “He’s hitting good momentum shots at key points.”
Remy Martin continued to harass on defense, collecting four steals and drawing four charges.
“(Remy) brings a lot of energy and passion to our defense. I’m glad he’s on our team,” Evans said about Martin.
Martin almost collected the block of the year for ASU against NAU. He rose way above the rim to swat Lumberjack guard Karl Harris late in the second half, but was called for a foul.
“(Opposing) point guards probably hate him,” Evans said on his fellow guard.
This was the first time since 1993 that ASU has scored 90 or more points in each of their first three contests.
But coach Hurley refuses to revel in the early successes.
“There are more challenges ahead for us,” Hurley said.
The Sun Devils will host UC Irvine this Sunday, before heading to Las Vegas for the Continental Tire Invitational on thanksgiving weekend.
TJ Mathewson is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Men’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at email@example.com or follow TJ on Twitter @TJM5518