Men's Hoops Notches Another Close Win; Tops Stanford 79-75
by Hunter Shulman, Sun Devil Student Communications Intern
The Sun Devils kept their foot on the gas and notched a second consecutive tough win at home against Stanford 79-75 Saturday night.
Arizona State came out aggressive and posted a solid offensive performance led by Remy Martin (23 points) who was 9-of-15 from the floor and dished out six assists and added four steals. The Sun Devils shot 50 percent from the floor (29-of-58) and were 15-of-17 (.882) from the free throw line, which was needed to offset Stanford's 31-of-34 (.912) free throw effort. ASU shot 50 percent for the second straight game (28-of-56 vs. California), as it is now 34-2 (.944) when it shoots 50 percent under Coach Hurley.
Freshman Josh Christopher added 15 points and is now 12-of-25 (.480) from three-point stripe in the past six games.
PAC-12 BEST RECORDS IN TWO-POSSESSION GAMES (SIX POINTS OR LESS) PAST TWO SEASONS
UCLA, 14-3 (.824)
Oregon, 10-3 (.769)
Washington State, 6-2 (.750)
Arizona State, 14-6 (.700)
Another impressive performance was that of Alonzo Verge Jr., who came off the bench scoring 12 points and added four assists. Marcus Bagley and Jalen Graham also added a dozen points each.
"I was really pleased with Alonzo and how he handled coming off the bench and he provided an enormous spark to what we were doing tonight," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "Let's talk about free throws, our free throws were tremendous, we were 15-of-17...so I'm really pleased with our free throws."
The Sun Devil's defensive performance was equally as impressive, forcing 20 turnovers and 12 steals, led by Martin's four, as ASU scored 29 points off of turnovers. They also held Stanford to just 2-of-15 (.133) from the three-point stripe.
"We knew that they were thin based on not having those players available for the game that would've helped them in that department, but it's what we do anyway," noted Hurley. "We just wanted to stick with that plan, and I thought it got us going in the first half, we had 13 of those in the first half and it transitioned us into some offense so I was very happy with our performance on that end of the floor tonight."
Arizona State plays at Colorado this Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and 98.7 FM.
ALONZO VERGE QUOTES
On coming off the bench
"I'm really willing to do anything to help us win. And if that's something that helps us win games, then I'm willing to do it. [Coach and I] had a talk and I let him know that I'm willing to make those sacrifices for my guys on my team."
On how they were able to close out the game tonight
"I would say [from] experience. We got a young group of guys. I felt like we didn't know how to [close] out games very well, but I think now that they see what it takes and what we have to do, I think that they have the hang of it now and we can finish out a lot more games."
On Jalen House's impact on defense
"He brings energy every day. Within practice, no matter if it's practice [or] walkthrough, he's talkative. As he gets older, he's going to get better and better, and I really respect him because of the things he does and how he carries himself. He's just a good player, he's a good teammate, [he's] somebody you want to have on your team that motivates you and does the right things. He comes into the game, he doesn't make any excuses and just goes hard, and that's somebody who you always want on your team."
On Remy Martin's performance
"He's much more than a scorer. He's good when he gets everybody involved and that's when he's at his best. We all know he can score and that's what he does. It [also] goes for myself. When I do that, we're at our best, so really I'm used to not scoring the ball at this point."
On forcing turnovers becoming part of the team's identity
"Absolutely. That was part of our identity last year earlier on in the year. We pressured a lot of teams and made them turn the ball over. It's just about locking in on defense and jumping to the ball and doing the little things."
On what the team needs to do to play better than they did during the losing streak
"I think if we go hard in practice and push each other, we'll be fine. Because before we [weren't] going hard at practice [or] pushing each other. We had two good practices going into this game, and I feel like that's where it starts."
REMY MARTIN QUOTES
On the team's defense
"I think just trusting each other. We're trying to find ourselves and I think that, once we [continue playing] like we did today, we're going to be hard to stop."
On the difference in his play during the last week
"Just my mindset. I've been going through a lot. Things happen in life and you just [have] to figure out how to maneuver around them and that's the process."
On Jalen House's impact on defense
"When you have a guy like that who always wants to win, he brings great energy. He's a great teammate. He always picks me up and I appreciate him a lot."
On the team's free throw shooting
"I was very disappointed in myself [by] missing those free throws. I've been putting a lot of work in [and my free throw percentage is pretty high]. I just [have] to trust it and it will fall for me. Obviously, I'm competitive and I want to give our team the best chance, [and] free throws are very important, especially in crunch time."
On the importance of the last two wins
"Every game is so important. At this point in our lives, we don't know when we're going to ever play again. With that approach, you want to make sure that you do the work early and get the win."