Sun Devils Burn McNeese State

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. - Ike Diogu had 23 of his career-high 38 points in the first half, leading Arizona State to an 81-61 win over McNeese State on Monday night.

Diogu, a sophomore who has been in double figures each of his 39 college games, made 12 of 15 shots and 14 of 15 free throws to tie Fat Lever for eighth on Arizona State's single-game list.

It was the most points by a Sun Devil since Eddie House had 40 against UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000.

The preseason All-American also had eight rebounds for the Sun Devils (5-2).

Edward Garriett had 21 points in the Cowboys' fifth straight loss, and Eldridge Lewis contributed 10.

Lewis, scoreless at halftime, sank two 3-pointers early in the second half, and the Cowboys (3-6) got within 50-34 on Ryan Price's layup after a steal with 14:30 left.

But that only kept Diogu in the game longer. He fought through a triple team for a three-point play with 9:29 to go, opening a 59-40 lead. The free throw topped his previous high of 31 points set against UC Riverside on Nov. 29.

That started a 15-5 surge, and Arizona State took its biggest lead at 71-43 with 6:12 to go.

Diogu had 17 points midway through the first half, picking up seven on a 19-foot jumper, a three-point play and two free throws in a 1:36 span to send Arizona State to a 26-11 lead with 9:55 left.

The gap reached 37-14 when Jason Braxton dunked after a steal with 5:00 remaining, and 46-19 with 1:08 to go after two baskets by Diogu 17 seconds apart.

AP Sports Writer

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