(Tempe, AZ) The Sun Devils fell behind 37-15 to Arizona with 5:35 left in the first half.
Then the fun began for those in maroon and gold.
ASU finished the first half on a 15-6 run and then scored the first 10 points of the second half and it was game on as Remy Martin paced the Sun Devils with 24 points and four assists. It marked Martin’s seventh straight game with at least 20 points.
“Obviously Nico (Mannion) is an important part of our team and him getting two fouls in the first half, that wasn’t a good thing for us but I think the other part of it is you got to give a lot of credit to Remy Martin,” said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. “He is a heck of a player, he’s a winner, he does it on offense he does it on defense, he does it game in game out he has great confidence in himself but he was the difference between the two teams today. He had 24 points on 17 shots. He’s one of the best guards in our conference and he’s one of the best guards in college basketball.”
“This is something, in my mind, we’re supposed to win,” said Remy Martin. “I think at the end of the day, we’re happy. We have a ton of games left. This is what we’re supposed to do.”
No. 22 Arizona (13-6, 3-3) went on a 28-5 run to create a sizable cushion entering halftime. ASU shot 36 percent from the field in the first half to go along with seven turnovers, but were only down 13 points entering the break.
The Sun Devils started the second half with a 16-4 run, which shook Desert Financial Arena.
Arizona had a costly turnover with 1:15 remaining in the second half while Arizona had a 65-64 lead. A few booth reviews and couple of loose balls later, ASU had the ball with 33 seconds left to play.
Alonzo Verge (13 points and 4 rebounds) attacked the lane and banked in the game-winning layup for the Sun Devils. ASU smothered Arizona on the final possession of the game.
In the second half, Arizona only scored 22 points and didn’t make any 3-pointers, after hitting six shots from downtown in the first half.
ASU’s next game will be on Wednesday against Washington State in Pullman. The game will be on ESPNU at 8 p.m. PT.
ARIZONA COACH SEAN MILLER
“You know I give a lot of credit to Arizona State, they were a hungry team. Their defense forced our offense, sped us up and created 18 turnovers. If you look playing on the road with 18 turnovers I’d say that’s the greatest strength of our team and those 18 turnovers they converted into 20 points. Some of the turnovers you have to give credit to our opponent but some of the turnovers I think our starters had 15 of the 18. It’s hard to win a game I don’t care what the score of the first half was but at the end for 40 minutes when your starting group has fifteen of the eighteen turnovers as a team twenty points off those turnovers, that’s really hard to overcome.”
ON ASU’S DEFENSE AND REBOUNDING
“I think the second thing is for most of the game our rebounding was in place for most of the first half and maybe for a small portion of the second half and although we outrebounded them 43-40 they were clearly the more aggressive and hungrier team. We had a number of balls go through our hands, block-outs that we missed, they got loose balls, they got those 50-50 balls and that’s really played to our team from the first game until now. When you’re on the road the margin of error certainly disappears and when you give up 18 turnovers that’s what we have and we really got beat on the glass for the last 24 minutes of the game you end up losing and that’s what we did. Some of what we did is you have to make plays, you have to make layups, you have to make open shots, you have to make free throws, we can’t turn the ball over down the stretch, you got to be able to get a shot at the basket. For example, Verge didn’t have to make the last shot he drove it and he scored the ball and he made it.”
Courtesy of ASU Athletics