ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL
ASU uses solid defense, 19 points from Desmond Cambridge Jr. to defeat Stanford
TEMPE — The Arizona State men’s basketball team used a great defensive first half and clutch shot-making to overcome a relatively poor second half, defeating Stanford 68-64 to improve to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play.
The Sun Devils held the Cardinal to just 21 points on 7-for-28 (25%) shooting in the first half. They forced nine Stanford turnovers, seven of which came on steals. ASU led 32-21 going into the locker room.
Sun Devil forward Warren Washington spoke on the defensive success in the first half.
“I feel like we did a good job of just containing (Stanford’s Harrison Ingram) in the first half, other guys too,” Washington said. “I just felt like we were just everywhere, flying everywhere. And the guards just did a great job of switching and just doing the game plan that coach put forward for us.”
Coming out of the break, Stanford turned on the jets.
Using points off of turnovers and 3-pointers, the Cardinal stormed back to take a 51-50 lead with 5:27 left in the game. However, ASU’s stars did not allow Stanford to lead again. The Sun Devils went on a 14-5 run over the next 4:37, spurred by six Desmond Cambridge Jr. points and a huge three by Frankie Collins to put them up 64-55 with 50 seconds remaining.
Stanford did cut ASU’s lead back to three with 15 seconds left but the Sun Devils’ 3-for-4 foul shooting on their next two possessions put the game out of reach for the Cardinal.
“Sometimes you (can) lose a lead and then enormous game pressure and then you can never recover but the guys did and made some good plays out there to close it out,” said ASU head coach Bobby Hurley.
Cambridge paced the Sun Devils in the game, with his 19 points leading all scorers. He shot 6-of-12 from the field and made two of ASU’s four 3-pointers.
“So I got those first two fouls at the start of the second half,” Cambridge said. “So I was watching a lot of their comeback and so I’m just sitting there fuming on the bench. … I felt like we needed a little spark and so I came in, hit those two shots. And especially if I’m hitting shots, I can bring guys together, just give us a spark.
“Because we’re going to play defense consistently but if your shot’s not falling on offense, it can really take a toll mentally and you might have some lapses on defense just because you’re not playing as well on offense.”
ASU will go back to non-conference play until the Sun Devils face rival Arizona on Dec. 31. They will travel to face SMU (3-5) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on the Arizona Sports App, ESPN 620 AM or ArizonaSports.com.
ASU continues to be without forward Marcus Bagley, who tweeted he was suspended from the team last week.
Hurley provided an update on the status of the third-year forward.
“At this point, Marcus has stepped away and we are going to support him and at the moment, that’s all I’m going to say,” Hurley said.