Strong defensive performance leads ASU men’s hoops to crushing defeat over Grambling State

Nov 22, 2022, 11:10 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2022, 7:21 am
Arizona State guard Devan Cambridge dunks against Grambling State at Desert Financial Arena in Temp...
Arizona State guard Devan Cambridge dunks against Grambling State at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Nov. 22, 2022. (Sun Devil Athletics Photo)
(Sun Devil Athletics Photo)

TEMPE — It was a masterclass on the defensive end by Arizona State men’s basketball Tuesday as the Sun Devils took down Grambling State 80-49 at Desert Financial Arena.

The Sun Devils did a great job staying in front of Tigers players on defense and double-teamed effectively when the opportunities arose. Arizona State did not let up, playing hard on the defensive end the entire game.

ASU held GSU to 17-for-64 (26.6%) from the field and allowed just one 3-pointer on 13 attempts. No Tigers scored in double figures.

Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley praised his team’s defense after the game, saying it was “really, really strong.”

ASU’s offense continued to make strides in the game with beautiful ball movement at times. Forward Devan Cambridge led the way with a game-high 16 points, including one on an alley-oop from his brother Desmond as Arizona State was dominating in the second half.

“I know when we don’t move the ball, it looks real bad,” Devan Cambridge said. “So that’s been the emphasis.”

Guard D.J. Horne had another good game as well for ASU, scoring 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting. He had a game-high three 3-pointers on seven attempts.

Overall, ASU shot 25 of 51 (49%) from the field, 7-for-22 (31.8%) from three and 23 of 31 (74.2%) from the foul line. The Sun Devils had 21 assists on the night.

“Happy to see 21 assists on 25 made field goals and that shows unselfishness and guys are moving the ball,” Hurley said.

Arizona State never trailed in the game, scoring 12 points before Grambling State could tickle the twine once. ASU led by 41 points in the second half before closing out the 31-point victory with five bench players on the floor.

No Bagley but Neal returns for ASU

After going through pregame warmups and being dressed for the game, forward Marcus Bagley missed his fourth game in a row after taking a hard fall against Northern Arizona on Nov 10. However, it did not seem as though the injury had anything to do with him not being on the floor.

“Our perimeter is really playing at a high level and wasn’t going to disrupt anything tonight,” Hurley said.

While Bagley did not play, sophomore wing Jamiya Neal made his season debut in the game. He played 11 minutes, scored three points and grabbed three rebounds. He also had three assists and a steal. His one field goal was an emphatic jam in the second half to put ASU up 55-30.

“I’m happy for Jamiya,” Hurley said. “It’s unfortunate the timing of his injury and missing all that time. … He’s going to upgrade our defense and we’re already playing pretty good defense.”


ASU’s next game is Sunday at home against Alcorn State at 3 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, and our app.

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