DJ Horne leads ASU to 72-63 Win Over North Florida
Arizona State's men's basketball team got their second victory of the season after beating the North Florida Ospreys 72-63 Monday evening. The win had two major factors: the Sun Devils defensive effort in the second half, and Marreon Jackson's great performance in the last minutes of the game.
When things looked tough for ASU in the last minutes of the game, Marreon Jackson delivered big time. The graduate scored the last eight points for the Sun Devils with two huge 3-pointers and two free throws. Before that, the score was 64-61, but Jackson's numbers made it an 11-point game before the last free throws scored by North Florida.
Another big factor was the defensive performance by Bobby Hurley's squad. The Ospreys had a good shooting performance during the first half, sinking five three-pointers in 10 tries. However, during the second, ASU held North Florida to 3-of-13 from beyond-the-arc.
That defensive effort paid big dividends in the last minutes, when Alonzo Gaffney made one of his two blocks that translated into a Jackson's three-pointer.
The Sun Devils also gave their fans some highlights to remember, as Kimani Lawrence, Enoch Boakye and Alonzo Gaffney had great dunks that resounded with celebrations at Desert Financial Arena.
During the first half, although ASU struggled after a 12-point differential for North Florida, the Sun Devils got close with a 14-4 run. To top it off, DJ Horne scored the last five points of the half to give ASU its first lead of the game right before halftime (39-37).
DJ Horne was ASU's top scorer, posting his career-high as a Sun Devil with 16 points, sinking 4-for-7 from beyond-the-arc and two more field goals. Kimani Lawrence also had big numbers after getting 12 points and six rebounds.
However, one of the best news for Bobby Hurley was Jalen Graham and Jay Heath season debuts after missing the first two games. Graham scored in double digits, with 10 points, making an impact from the start, as he blocked Jonathan Aybar and went to the offensive end to score the first points for the Sun Devils.
The ASU men's hoops team will go on the road for the first time this season Thursday (Nov. 18), when they will face the San Diego State Aztecs at 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Net.
- ASU moves to 52-20 in non-conference games under Bobby Hurley.
- The Sun Devils claim victory over the Osprey in the first meeting between the two programs.
- Arizona State made up a double-digit deficit, trailing by as many as 12 in the first half (16-4 at 13:34).
- North Florida scored only 26 points on 8-of-27 (.296) shooting in the second half.
- The Maroon & Gold won despite Marcus Bagley going scoreless, with eight different players scoring at least four points. Bagley left in the first half with a knee injury.
- ASU held North Florida's leading scorer Carter Hendrickson to only 3-of-10 shooting (came into the game averaging 15.3 per game).
- DJ. Horne enjoyed a breakout game, scoring a season-high 16 points and nailing four three pointers.
- Horne and fellpw guard Marreon Jackson combined for 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
- Alonzo Gaffney stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks.
- Jamiya Neal contributed in many ways, scoring seven points, while also collecting three rebounds and two steals and had a team-best +18 in his 26 minutes.
- ASU held a 42-33 advantage on the boards and a 34-22 advantage in points in the paint.
- Kimani Lawrence reached double figures scoring for the tenth time in his last 12 games.
- Freshman Enoch Boakye has 17 rebounds in 37 minutes this season.
COACH HURLEY QUOTES
"I think we are still a work in progress. I thought defensively we stepped up and guarded better in the second half and did a good job from a percentage standpoint to put ourselves in a good position and I am happy to see some individual contributions from a guy like Marreon Jackson late in the game, eight points in the last stretch and maybe he can build off that and get some momentum so that was exciting to see. Jamiya Neal, his defense throughout most of the game and definitely his three, I thought it was a key shot for us at a critical time. These games are behind us now and its good to get back on track and win a basketball game but the water gets deep now, we get Luther back and see what Marcus looks like and get ready for a big game on Thursday night."
ON JALEN GRAHAM
"JG for being away from the team for 12 days and then having alight workout on Friday and two practices where we were really being careful with his repetitions I thought it was solid, you know he had some good moments offensively he made some things happen for us, challenged shots, battles so I liked that rotation even a guy like Enoch in the first half, this was a difficult matchup for him because they are mobile and their big guys are away from the basket a lot. He just didn't get the call in the second half but he had five points and six rebounds and did some good things, he was far better then his last game so that was good to see also."
ON FREE THROW SHOOTING
"I am trying to stay positive and certainly you don't want to shoot those numbers, I don't think anyone was trying to. Kimani had been shooting really well besides this game so he will get to work on that and that is certainly a problem, I don't think we had many of our guards taking many free throws either but it is obviously not something you want to see."
PLAYER QUOTES (MARREON JACKSON) (DJ HORNE)
On individual performance (DJ)
"I just felt like I had a good bounce back especially from last game, I didn't shoot it well so going into this game I told myself I needed to have a short memory and I feel like I did that."
On playing in close games (Marreon)
"I am actually glad we are getting these tough games like this because this is going to teach us later on, to have two close games that is very crucial especially in conference play at this level, there is not going to be too many games that are blowouts, it is going to be games where you have to grind it out and this is teaching us how to do that early on, I'm not glad, but I am happy that the loss happened early and this game here teaches us how to close out games on the offensive and defensive end."