Verge’s hot streak continues, ASU survives close call for 4th straight win
It was hard to put a finger on how exactly Arizona State could turn up in Pac-12 play given how many issues they had in non-conference play. That was put on full display when they nearly gave away the game to Stanford Thursday night.
But with how junior guard Alonzo Verge Jr. is playing, they’ve at least got a recipe for something.
Verge had 19 points off the bench, his fourth straight game with more than 15 points, and the Sun Devils beat the Cardinal 74-69.
It was also the fourth straight win for Bobby Hurley’s team and the most impressive of the bunch against a good Stanford team, especially defensively.
Despite that and the reputation that the Cardinal was containing key offensive options for other teams, both Verge and junior guard Remy Marin had their nearly all night.
Martin played one of his best games of the year, shooting an efficient 9-of-14 to go with 24 points, two rebounds and two assists. Both Martin and Verge were absolutely locked in on how to exploit Stanford’s defense off the dribble and kept creating good opportunities for either themselves or their teammates for most of the game.
Verge shot 8-fo-14 with seven rebounds, four assists and a steal to go with the 19 points.
The game was simply about those two controlling it. After a disgusting start for both teams that included Stanford having five turnovers in the opening three minutes, it was Verge or Martin that kept the Sun Devil lead high enough. They were up 11 at the half and it was never down to one possession until there was 2:14 left.
Up 68-65, the Sun Devils continued a scoreless run of over five minutes up to the last few possessions of the game. And it was terrible execution, particularly from Martin, who had three out of four possessions where he was unable to create a shot for either himself or a teammate, let alone a good look like a great point guard has to.
Fortunately, Stanford was there to screw it up too, and they turned it over on two straight possessions after cutting the deficit down to the aforementioned three. After that, Martin’s terrific drive with 31 seconds left put ASU up five and sealed the deal.
The victory for ASU put them at 7-4 in conference play, one win off Colorado and Oregon at the top of the standings and tied with Arizona.
The Sun Devils will look to complete the road sweep against Cal on Sunday. Tip off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.