Jose Perez and Frankie Collins propel Arizona State to win No. 150 under Bobby Hurley
Jan 5, 2024, 12:54 AM | Updated: 11:04 am
TEMPE – Frankie Collins and Jose Perez led Arizona State men’s basketball in an 82-70 takedown of Utah to give Bobby Hurley win No. 150 as Sun Devil head coach on Thursday night at Desert Financial Arena, giving ASU a 3-0 start in Pac-12 play.
“It was just great to share (win No. 150) with the team and the guys were excited for it,” Hurley said. “I’ve loved coaching in this program and I told the guys I should have about 20 or 25 more wins. I probably messed some up along the way. But I’m happy to be at this number.”
Perez had a season-high 26 points on an efficient 9-for-16 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Collins had 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and a game-high six assists.
Perez and Collins were especially great in the second half to help Arizona State (9-5, 3-0 Pac-12) pull away from Utah. Collins and Perez each had 14 points, combining for 28 of the Sun Devils’ 41 second-half points.
“We had the lead and we didn’t let them punch us in the mouth first,” Collins said. “And we maintained the whole game, the whole night. So as long as the scoreboard says we’re winning, that’s all that mattered.”
Another crucial contributor to ASU’s victory was center Shawn Phillips Jr., who played in his third game back after missing over a month with a foot injury and had his best game since being back. In just 15 minutes of action, he scored nine points, tied Collins for the team-lead with seven rebounds and was 4-of-5 from the field.
“I think he was able to handle the minutes that we gave him tonight better and you can already see that the foundation is being built for him to get more opportunity,” Hurley said. “But just he was very productive in those minutes. … He’s a presence there. With his length and ability to challenge shots, he just adds a different dimension that we don’t have right now.”
Collins, Phillips and Perez were portions of an ASU offensive performance rarely seen this season. The Sun Devils’ ball movement was better and their shot selection was improved from previous games this season.
These improvements led to 30-for-60 (50%) shooting from the field on the night and 12-of-28 (42.9%) shooting from downtown. ASU’s 82 points were tied for their second-most in a game this season.
“I thought maybe our cleanest, best performance of the season on offense,” Hurley said.
The win was important for the Sun Devils’ NCAA Tournament hopes and helped their spot in the Pac-12 early on.
Utah (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12) is No. 18 in the NET rankings and the win is a Quad 1 victory at present. ASU would have sole possession of the top spot in the conference if not for Oregon’s 76-74 victory over Washington Thursday.
“It was real important,” Collins said. “Especially because we lost big to a couple Quad 1 teams so for us to come out here and get this Quad 1 win after those tough losses is huge. It’s a great win for us. We needed that.”
The Sun Devils remain home as they welcome Colorado (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12) to Desert Financial Arena on Saturday. The game is set for 6 p.m. MST and can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.