Remy Martin, Romello White unload on Anthony Edwards, UGA in ASU win
TEMPE, Ariz. — Two is always better than one.
The Arizona State Sun Devils faced a tall task in the two-loss Georgia Bulldogs and potential NBA Lottery Pick Anthony Edwards coming to town Saturday night.
Scoring at least 18 points in all but two games this season, Edwards has shown he has the ability to take over games. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Sun Devils boasted two such playmakers in juniors Remy Martin and Romello White.
The guard-forward combo blew up for a combined 41 points in the Sun Devils’ 79-59 blowout win over the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
As advertised, Edwards showed he can make the tough shot, showing off his athleticism on a number of plays on his way to 12 first-half points. But outside of the guard, the Bulldogs struggled to rip the net for the first 20 minutes of action, with the second-leading scorers on Georgia sitting at four points apiece.
It was a different story on the Sun Devils bench.
Led by Martin, White and Alonzo Verge Jr., the Sun Devils kept things close for much of the half, leading 28-26 with 3:17 left until halftime. ASU made the most of the rest of the half, however, scoring 11 points to Georgia’s three. With his hands already all over the game, White closed out the half with authority with a last-second tip-in to beat the buzzer.
MELLO AT THE BUZZER.
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) December 15, 2019
“Thought it was a solid win for our program, very excited to see the way we performed, especially late in the half, and made some nice things happen to give us that cushion,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. “I love when I see my teams play the last three minutes like we did. We hit a three, we caused a turnover, we got a tip-in so just winning that last 40 seconds 5-0 was crucial to go into the locker room the right way.
“Just overall I think our gameplan defensively, our energy defensively has pretty much been a constant all year and it was not different tonight, holding a team that I think was third in the nation in scoring. … Just says a lot about what we’re doing. I think we’re playing with great energy, we’re contesting everything.”
The ASU trio combined for 34 of the team’s 39 first-half points.
With momentum clearly on their side, the Sun Devils continued to pour it on in the second half.
“We all got together in the locker room and said it was time to break the game open,” White said about the mentality for the second half. “We got them right there, it’s time to take it away and step on their necks. We all got together and we did that. We locked down on defense, we made shots, everybody played together.”
Going with what worked well over the course of the first half, the team went right back to the duo of White and Martin. And much like the first 20 minutes, the two were the catalysts of the Sun Devils. The offense was gelling much better too as a whole too, with the team shooting 62.1% from the field (18-of-29), up from 39.5% in the first half (15-of-38).
As for the Bulldogs, they quickly saw the nine-point deficit grow to 12, as Edwards was held to just one point in the half, ending the game with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists in just over 24 minutes of action.
Pickpocketing Georgia all night was freshman guard Jaelen House, who set the pace with six steals Saturday night. As a team, the Sun Devils manufactured nine, while hounding the Bulldogs on Georgia’s way to 19 turnovers.
But even with ASU’s offensive uptick, there were still some areas to improve on. Luckily, the team didn’t have to rely much on them, giving the Sun Devils some extra motivation to tap into their full potential.
“I can’t help but watch the game and know that there were some things left on the table, especially in the first half,” Hurley said. “I think the quality of our shots were pretty good and were open and it just gives me a lot of hope that maybe we’re just scratching the surface here, that if we could win a game this decisively and not shoot well from the free throw line or the 3-point line, it’s probably a good sign.”
Out in front for ASU was Martin, who turned in his sixth game of at least 20 points. He added six assists, three rebounds and committed just one turnover.
For Martin, the performance meant more than just another victory in the win column with a potential No. 1 draft pick sharing the hardwood.
“I’m a guy that always feels like an underdog and I always feel like I have something to prove,” Martin said. “I think that that’s just been kinda the story of my life of how I got to where I am right now. Those opportunities that I get I just try to maximize it, but [Edwards] is a great player. He’s going to go off and we all know he’s going to go do his thing, but I definitely did take it personal.
“I knew people were going to watch him and ultimately I’m a point guard so I think that we’re based off our wins so I just really wanted to get guys involved and get the win at the end of the day and we did, so short-term memory. We got the win, I’m focused on the next one.”
White continued his stellar play from the first half as well, finishing with 18 points and a career-high 17 boards. Saturday’s stat sheet shows the forward’s fourth straight double-double as the big man shows off his improvement from over the summer. The Georgia-native also had some added motivation in the matchup.
“It’s the hometown, all my family back home was watching the game so I felt like I had to show out today and try to do the best I could,” White said.
Up next, the Sun Devils (8-2) will look to make it six wins in a row — fourth straight at home — when they take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels (9-2).