Arizona State men’s basketball stifles Sam Houston in blowout win
Nov 29, 2023, 9:58 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm
TEMPE — Arizona State men’s basketball used a strong defensive performance to defeat Sam Houston State 78-61 on Wednesday at Desert Financial Arena.
ASU (4-2) stifled the Sam Houston State (4-4) offense most of the game, allowing little space for the Bearkats to operate. The Sun Devils forced 15 turnovers, scoring 15 points off of those turnovers. Sam Houston State shot just 35.3% from the field and 22.2% from 3-point range.
“It was our best half in the first half of getting deflections,” said ASU head coach Bobby Hurley. “And it got us in a position where we were getting stops. And thought we might be able to run on Sam Houston State in transition. They play very hard. We thought that might have been something that we could exploit. And fortunately we had the stops that we’re able to get some baskets in transition.”
The Sun Devils struggled in the half court on Wednesday, with a lack of ball movement and poor shot selection plaguing them at points. ASU’s free throw shooting continued to be an issue. The Sun Devils were just 8-for-19 (42.1%) from the foul line in the game.
“It’s a long season,” Jamiya Neal said. “Just get 1% better every day. “That’s all we got to do. We don’t have to look our best right now.”
ASU did end up shooting 51.6% from the field. This was largely due to its success in transition. The Sun Devils had 28 fast-break points.
“That’s always been our calling card,” Neal said. “With our offense struggling right now, we always got to rely on getting stops and getting out in transition and getting easy buckets. So the more we can get stops, the more we can get easy transition buckets, the better for us.”
Another reason the Sun Devils’ shooting percentage ended up being as good as it was due to the play guard Jose Perez. The West Virginia transfer had a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 (69.2%) shooting.
Arizona State did not trail at any point in the game and led by as many as 24 points before eventually winning by 17.
ASU has the next three days off before facing San Francisco at home on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com. ASU faced San Francisco on the road last season. ASU suffered its worst loss of the 2022-23 season, falling 97-60.