Arizona St. Holds Off Morehead St.

Nov 22, 2002

AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. - Tommy Smith, benched because of foul trouble for most ofthe game, scored nine points in the final 7:35 as Arizona State held offMorehead State for a 59-56 victory in the opener for both Friday night.

The Sun Devils had a 16-point lead in the first half before Morehead Staterallied.

Donnell Knight had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sun Devils, who playedwithout playmaker Curtis Millage, last season's top scorer, because of aneligibility issue. Smith had 11 points and Ike Diogu 10.

Ricky Minard scored 18 points for the Eagles, and reserves Chez Marks had 11and Anton Kerley 10.

Marks got his points in the second half, going 3-of-8 on 3-pointers, butmissed badly on a 3-point attempt to tie at the buzzer. Arizona State finishedlast season with a five-game losing streak.

Minard, who finished 10th in Division I scoring (22.3) last spring, shot theEagles to a 44-43 lead - their only one of the game - with a 3-pointer with8:51 remaining.

After two free throws by Kyle Dodd and one by Smith, Chad McKnight tied itat 46 with a layup with 5:45 to go.

But Smith made a turnaround, two free throws, a 17-footer and a short jumperin the next 3:25, sending the Sun Devils to a 54-49 lead with 2:20 to play.

Knight gave Arizona State a 28-12 lead with a layup with 3:16 left in thefirst half.

Morehead's Craig Lewis had a three-point play and made two free throws asthe Eagles got within 28-19 before Knight's layup with seconds to go opened an11-point halftime lead.

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