ASU basketball shows improvement in blowout of NAU

Nov 10, 2022, 11:02 PM
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

TEMPE – Unlike Monday’s narrow, 62-59, victory over Tarleton State, Arizona State men’s basketball (2-0) did what it was supposed to do against a mid-major Thursday.

The Sun Devils used a much better offensive performance and sweltering defense for most of the game to defeat Northern Arizona (0-2) 84-68 at Desert Financial Arena.

“Even though we won, I felt like we lost … Monday,” ASU guard D.J. Horne said. “I felt like we’re a better team than what we showed out there. So, you know today definitely was for me a lot of a better feeling, you know, leaving the gym today. And yeah just, you know, build from it from here.”

While there was still a little bit too much isolation ball, the offense looked to be clicking much more than it did in Monday’s game against the Texans. The Sun Devils shot 26 of 48 (54.2 percent) from the field and 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) from 3-point territory on Thursday.

Horne led the way for ASU with 25 points, the most he has scored in his two-plus years as a Sun Devil. The junior guard shot 7 of 11 from the field, 4 of 6 from 3-point range and was 7-9 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds, two steals and three assists.

Senior guard-forward Devan Cambridge was also an offensive spark, scoring 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting. He was a perfect 3 of 3 from 3-point land and had perhaps the highlight of the game, slamming home an alley-oop dunk off of an assist by guard Frankie Collins at the 6:39 mark in the first half.

ASU coach Bobby Hurley discussed the solid offensive performance by his team.

“I think it flowed very well,” Hurley said. “I liked Frankie had eight assists. I was happy to see Warren (Washington) get involved a little bit. You know D.J. had it going obviously you know making shots. But I think the ball was moving pretty well and I felt like we were a little more relaxed out there. And, you know, all the statistical categories will back that up.”

ASU never trailed after Marcus Bagley gave the team a 4-2 lead at the 18:09 mark in the first half. However, it was a 20-0 run by the Sun Devils from the 2:11 mark in the first half until the 17:07 mark in the second half that put the game out of reach for the Lumberjacks.

ASU’s defense had a great night for most of the game, forcing NAU to shoot just 9 of 29 (31 percent) from the field and 1-for-13 (7.7 percent) from three in the first half. ASU’s solid defensive play continued into the second half but as the second half went on, NAU found success offensively, making nine of its last 11 shots. ASU’s largest lead of 35 points dwindled all the way down to just 12 with 1:58 left.

Hurley described the last 10 minutes of the game as “a fiasco.”

“I’ll attribute some of, you know, the maybe dysfunction or just poor play to being in a lopsided situation and not knowing how to handle it,” Hurley said.

Up Next

ASU travels to Texas Southern for its next game on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST.

Cambridge discussed how the team needs to perform on its upcoming road trip.

“We got to have communication on the defensive end, you know, playing together still,” Cambridge said. “And I think we can compete with anybody if we do those things. And I’m not really scared to play anybody.”

Penguin Air

Arizona State Basketball

Arizona State Sun Devils forward Marcus Bagley (23) looks on during the college basketball game bet...
Kellan Olson

Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley tweets he has been ‘suspended’

Arizona State forward Marcus Bagley tweeted on Tuesday that he had been "suspended" by the team.
3 days ago
Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley talks to Marcus Bagley during the first half of the team's NCAA co...
Tyler Drake

Hurley: ‘There’s just no minutes’ for ASU’s Marcus Bagley right now

ASU's Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports' Bickley & Marotta that Marcus Bagley's lack of playing time stems from his teammates' upped play.
3 days ago
Arizona guard Cedric Henderson Jr. (45) tries for a three pointer over Creighton forward Arthur Kal...
Associated Press

Arizona men’s basketball leaps to No. 4, ASU gets votes in AP Poll

Both the Arizona and ASU men's basketball teams are receiving recognition for their high level of play from the latest AP Top 25 poll.
4 days ago
Marcus Bagley #23 of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on during the 2K Empire Classic game agains...
Arizona Sports

Marcus Bagley says he’s not in ASU rotation because of disciplinary reason

Marcus Bagley admitted he made a mistake and said some things he shouldn't have to ASU basketball coach Bobby Hurley.
5 days ago
Arizona State's Warren Washington dunks the ball in front of Virginia Commonwealth's Jamir Watkins,...
Jordan Leandre

ASU big Warren Washington breaks out in win over Alcorn State

ASU basketball's great start finds team team at 6-1 behind forward Warren Washington's two-way dominance against Alcorn State.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shouts to his team from the bench during the first half of an N...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Sports Thanksgiving: 5 things fans can be thankful for

Arizona sports faced a lot of unexpected events in 2022. However, here are five things fans can be thankful for this holiday season.
9 days ago
ASU basketball shows improvement in blowout of NAU