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Remy Martin’s 26 points leads ASU men’s basketball over Rhode Island

Arizona State's Remy Martin goes up for a basket as Rhode Island's Fatts Russell, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Senior Remy Martin gave ASU men’s basketball’s highly anticipated freshmen class a first-hand view on how to close out a college basketball game late in the Sun Devil’s season opener against Rhode Island on Wednesday.

ASU won 94-88 behind Martin’s 26 points, five assists and six rebounds.

The Sun Devils led by as much as 16 in the first half but they could not hold the advantage and keep the pressure on the Rams. Rhode Island caught up and eventually took the lead before a back-and-forth finish.

Tied at 86 with about three minutes to go, Chris Osten grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed 3-pointer. He put back the layup and drew a foul, going to the line and giving ASU a three-point lead.

“Chris, overall, was huge tonight,” said head coach Bob Hurley. “He doesn’t miss practice, works his (butt) off every day. Karma is good to people like that.”

About two minutes later, holding a 91-88 lead, Martin put the game away with the help of the two most lauded freshmen, Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley.

Martin drove to the lane and drew help. He dished the ball off to Bagley down low, who got fouled and hit a free throw to extend the lead.

On Rhode Island’s next possession, Christopher drew an offensive foul to give ASU the ball back. Holland Woods iced the game with a steal and layup.

Bagley lived at the free throw line, going 10-for-14 from the line in his debut. He finished with 16 points, all of which either came from the stripe or behind the 3-point line.

“It was surreal at first,” Bagley said. “I’ve dreamed about playing for Arizona State and to finally be out there with ASU across my chest felt amazing.”

The free throw discrepancy was the reason ASU managed to hold on when Rhode Island made its move in the second half. The Sun Devils attempted 46 free throws in the game and made 34 of them. Rhode Island went 21-for-35.

Martin went 8-for-10 from the stripe.

Christopher, one of the most-hyped freshmen who has enrolled at ASU in men’s basketball history, was quiet in his first game as a Sun Devil. He had 11 points and made just three of his 10 shots.

Without Kimani Lawrence, who missed the game with a knee injury, Taeshon Cherry had 11 points off the bench.

In the end, the game felt like one from years past: ASU took the lead. ASU gave up the lead. Martin kept ASU within distance and led the late charge to put it away.

The Sun Devils start the season 1-0.

They will lace up again Thursday against the winner of the Villanova and Boston College game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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