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Men's Hoops Steamrolls Oregon State, 73-55

Jan 28, 2015

By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations

Tempe, Ariz.—Led by Shaquielle McKissic’s 17 points, the Arizona State men’s basketball team (11-10, 3-5) steamrolled Oregon State (14-6, 5-3), 73-55, Wednesday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.  Presenting a well-balanced offense, four Sun Devils posted double digits and the squad assisted on 13 of 23 field goals.

“I thought our guys really executed,” said ASU head coach Herb Sendek of the win.  “One of the things we had to do tonight was do a better job rebounding than we did in our first game against Oregon State.  We did just that.  They are an excellent offensive rebounding team and have a tremendous capacity to get 50-50 balls—that’s what they do. I thought we did a much better job with that tonight.”

McKissic, who had a standout night, was 7-7 from the line and shot .500 (5-10) from the field.  Junior Gerry Blakes was second in scoring with 12 points on the night, while senior Bo Barnes and freshman Tra Holder posted 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“When Shaq does what he did in the second half, it makes our team better,” said Sendek of McKissic’s ability to drive the lane.  “It was really good to see him go seven for seven from the foul line, as well, and get rewarded for those hard drives.”

Despite opening with a dunk and jumping out to an early lead, the Beavers could not keep pace with the Sun Devils.  Quickly overcoming the deficit, ASU went on an 11-0 run.  Hot from downtown, the Sun Devils netted a barrage of threes from Holder, Barnes, and senior Jon Gilling in a 65-second span.    

Making a bold statement early, ASU dominated every aspect of the game.  ASU was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 8-of-11 from the field in the first 10 minutes.  The Sun Devils outrebounded the Beavers 7-1 and led 11-0 in points off the bench. 

“You have to give a lot of credit to Arizona State,” said Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle.  “They did what we’ve been doing for a large part of the season.  They set the tone.  They took it to us—they made shots and they pushed it on us—which we knew they were going to do.”

ASU expanded its lead to as many as 20 points in the final minutes of the first half.  As time ran out, the Sun Devils were on top, 40-23.  

Barnes netted all nine of his first-half points from three-point range, going 3-5.  At the 20-minute mark, ASU was 6-6 from the free throw line and had assisted on 10 of its 13 buckets.  The Sun Devil bench also outscored the Beaver bench 17-5.    

“They hit some shots and then all of a sudden we were not communicating in man or zone, and it snowballed,” said Tinkle.  “We were down 17 at half.  I’m disappointed in our effort and our lack of focus, and I thought that our leadership out there on the floor wasn’t where it has been either.” 

The second half opened with an Oregon State scoring drought.  ASU took advantage, further padding its lead with dunks by junior Eric Jacobsen and sophomore Savon Goodman and with another three-pointer from Gilling.

The Sun Devils maintained a double-digit lead over the Beavers for the remainder of the game, ultimately nabbing the 73-55 win.  Dominating the boards, ASU outrebounded Oregon State 35-22 for the night. 

Threes and free throws were the key factors in the win.  From downtown, the Sun Devils made nine (9-24), while the Beavers only connected on two (2-9).  ASU outshot Oregon State .783 (18-23) to .222 (3-8) from the line. 

“It’s good to make outside shots against the zone,” said Sendek of ASU’s shooting.  “We didn’t necessarily want to live and die by that though.  Like we said all along, when the ball is going in it makes a big difference.  Our guys are shooting the ball with good confidence, and they’re getting good shots.  We also made free throws, so that goes a long way.”

“They came out and they hit us in the mouth, and our guys didn’t know how to respond on the road here,” said Tinkle.  “It’s disappointing.  You look at the free throw stats, we go 3-8 and they go 18-23.  So it shows you that we must not have been very aggressive, when they shoot 24 threes to our nine.”

Next up, the Sun Devils host the Oregon Ducks Friday, Jan. 30, at 6:00 p.m. MST.  The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.