ASU waves off Pepperdine at home: By the Numbers
Arizona State guard Gerry Blakes’ 3-pointer in the second half was catalytic. It was ASU’s first in the game after going 0-for-9 from behind the arc against Pepperdine’s No. 1-ranked 3-point defense.
The trey also gave ASU its first lead of the game.
It also set off a burst of energy from the rest of Blakes’ team as the Sun Devils went on a 17-1 run halfway through the second period punctuated by two power slams from headliner Shaq McKissic.
But the 81-74 victory could not have been attained without solid, consistent play by junior Eric Jacobsen down low throughout the first half. He was a bright spot on a struggling offense that was overwhelmed by an athletic Waves team and racked up a 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting to help keep his team within two at the half.
Rebounding also saved the Sun Devils. They won the offensive boards battle 9-3 and outscored Pepperdine 12-3 on second-chance points throughout the first half.
After witnessing a 7-0 Pepperdine run to open the second half, Blakes’ shot and the concurrent run gave Arizona State an eight-point lead with under seven minutes to play.
The Waves, led by forward Stacy Davis’ 26 points, wouldn’t quite go away and rallied to come within five with under four minutes to play. But a career day from both McKissic and Jacobsen set the game out of reach as the Sun Devils stayed perfect at home and improved to 6-3.
What did the victory look like by the numbers?
Both McKissic and Jacobsen had career days against the Waves and fed off each other.
Jacobsen’s best performance came in the first half, when the rest of his team struggled to produce. He was perfect from the field and scored 12 points. He finished with 20 points and nine rebounds and only missed one shot and two free throws of the 10 he attempted.
McKissic’s two dunks accounted for just four of his 13 second-half points. He also was one of just two ASU players to hit a 3-pointer, which contributed to his second career double-double and career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
This is the first time Arizona State has had two player hit 20-plus points in a game since the combination of Jonathan Gilling and Jahii Carson against Oregon State last season.
Pepperdine led by two at the half thanks to an athletic perimeter defense and poor outside shooting by ASU. It was the first time this year the Sun Devils have trailed at the half.
Pepperdine’s 3-point defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation, and against ASU it showed. The Devils did not hit a single 3-pointer throughout the first half and only went 3-of-13 for the game.
48 to 15
The Sun Devils lived (and almost died) at the free throw line Saturday, shooting 48 foul shots to just 15 for the Waves. ASU connected on 34 of them (70.8 percent) and had a 22-point advantage from the charity stripe on the day. The 48 attempts were by far a season-high for Arizona State, besting their previous high of 34 against Chicago State in the season opener Nov. 14
The Sun Devils remain undefeated at home with the win and are 6-0 at Wells Fargo Arena this season. They have won 40 of their last 45 home games and have a current home winning streak of 14 games.
Aside from both McKissic and Jacobsen’s impressive performances, the game was won on the glass.
ASU outrebounded Pepperdine 40-25 and held the Waves to just five offensive boards.
The Sun Devils also had seven steals and forced 16 Pepperdine turnovers which led to 18 points.