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Jalen Graham leads the Sun Devils in the 81-57 victory over Oregon

Feb 17, 2022
Jalen Graham had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the 81-57 win over Oregon.

The Arizona State men's hoops team came back to Tempe and achieved a statement win over the Oregon Ducks, outscoring them 45-27 in the second half for an 81-57 win. Jalen Graham led the Sun Devils with 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Sun Devils ran away from the Ducks, who had won 11 of their past 13.

ASU's effort allowed them to enjoy the lead during almost the entire game, as the Ducks' last time at the top was 15-14 during the first half.

However, the best minutes came after halftime, when the Sun Devils went on a 19-5 run, achieved in part by the high number of assists, recording 19 on the night, with six from Jay Heath.

The fans could celebrate some highlights as well like the two straight dunks, one by Graham and another by Kimani Lawrence, who put the exclamation point on the alley-oop throw by Horne for a 20-point differential (68-48).

Jalen Graham surely had fun on the court. One of his assists led Lawrence to score an open lay-up after Graham gave him the ball with a behind-the-back pass and made the entire Desert Financial Arena celebrate.

RPG:  3.0/6.5
APG: 0.5/2.8
FG-A: 23-55 (.418)/68-133 (.511)
FT-A: 7-23 (.304)/20-30 (.667)

Not only did Graham outscore any Oregon player, but three other Sun Devils had double digits in scoring. DJ Horne, Kimani Lawrence and Marreon Jackson tallied 16 points each, as alll of Jackson's points came in the first half, helping the Sun Devils to go to the locker room with a 36-30 lead after shooting 4-of-6 from the three-point line.

.617 vs. Washington/29-47 (Feb. 9, 2019)
.593 vs. Oregon State/32-54 (Jan. 28, 2016)
.574 vs. Oregon/31-54 (Feb. 17, 2022)
.571 vs. Colorado/32-56 (Jan. 5, 2019)
.559 vs. Stanford at Las Vegas/33-59 (Mar. 8, 2017)
.557 at Washington State/34-61 (Feb. 4, 2018)
.556 vs. Arizona/30-54 (Jan. 31, 2019)
.547 at Stanford/29-53 (Feb. 13, 2020)

The team numbers also explain why Bobby Hurley's squad performed this great. The Sun Devils shot a .570 from the field (31-of-54), with a .450 shooting performance from the three-point line (9-of-20). Oregon only shot 19-of-55 (.345), and .190 from three (5-of-26). That helped ASU out rebound Oregon 40-29. 

19 vs. #19 USC/Feb. 3, 2022
18 vs. Oregon/Feb. 17, 2022
16 vs. #3 UCLA/Feb. 5, 2022
16 at Stanford/Jan. 22, 2022
16 vs. Colorado/Jan. 15, 2022

The Sun Devils will face Oregon State Saturday (Feb. 19) at 6 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena and then will play a rescheduled game at UCLA on Monday (Feb. 21) at 6 p.m. PT on FS1.

1. 132 – Jon Gilling, '11-15
2. 131 – Derek Glasser, '06-10
3. 130 – Eric Jacobsen, '12-16
3. 130 – Ty Abbott, '07-11
5. 129 – Kimani Lawrence, '17-22
5. 129 – Tra Holder, '14-18
5. 129 – Jerren Shipp, '06-10

DEFENSE: ASU is holding opponents to .403 shooting (569-1413), its best defensive effort since 2009-10 (.402/678-of-1687), fifth-best in school history. ASU has held 13 opponents under 40 percent shooting.

.391 -- 1962-63 (791-2024)
.399 -- 1971-72 (797-of-1997)
.401 -- 1967-68 (834-2078)
.402 -- 2009-10 (678-1687)
.403 -- 2021-22 (569-1413)

"I thought it was a breakout offensive performance for the guys. It was fun to watch. When you make 12 more field goals than your opponent, that's what it should look like in terms of the score. It was super fun to see the balance we had, how we guarded, we guarded with great energy, holding them to the numbers that they shot. It's great to see so many guys contributing and playing well and having fun playing. We've been through a lot this year, it's been a lot of tough times so to see the guys enjoy that second half was pretty special." 

This game, especially the second half, was it the best game you've played all season? 
"I think when you combine both ends of the floor and you talk about just the effort we were giving defensively and how clean we were playing on offense and the shots we were getting and the shots we were converting. Really the only thing we didn't do was make some free throws in the first half, otherwise, it was as good of a performance as we've had all year." 

On ball movement and spacing: 
"Yeah I mean anytime you see Jalen Graham dropping behind the back passes for layups you know that you're moving the ball well. He was terrific again. Our interior passing and finding our shooters, I thought the guys did a really good job of moving the ball, 19 assists so it was great." 

On what was different for DJ Horne tonight: 
"I was just glad to see him come out in the second half, he got a couple right away, and just kind of built his confidence off that. I'm not really worried about him. I think if we get more guys playing well it's going to be harder for teams to load up on his offense and I think that's maybe a little more of it in the second half. Marreon, again, came in right away. We wanted to get him in the game early for matchup reasons. He was a big part of it offensively with his threes when we were, I think stuck on nine for a little bit there, he really got us going."

When you played Oregon last time, Marreon didn't even score so just that contrast what does that say to you about his progression lately? 
"He's just been a different player and you don't know what to attribute it to. It's - I think - getting comfortable with the new system, new teammates, he battled through injuries. He's finding his best stride so I'm glad that he's playing at this level this time of year. We had so many guys in this game that contributed, that played well, even a guy like Jamiya Neal. His stuff in the box score won't show up as much but his defense was outstanding. Once we had that lead, he was really doing a good job at that end of the floor." 

Was it relieving to see not only (Marreon) Jackson but (DJ) Horne, and (Jalen) Graham all contributing simultaneously offensively tonight? 
"Yeah, it gives you a ton of confidence. As a coach, the playbook becomes wide open. You can go high ball screen with DJ and Marreon or you can try and get the ball to JG and Kimani. I thought Kimani did a really good job against their zone in the high post. Just had a lot of good things at the offensive end." 

Coach, I'm curious if you think tonight was a little bit more about the distribution(?) you saw from the other team or the shot selection? (I have no idea what this question was) 
"We ran good offense I thought. I think the guys pretty much bought into doing that and moving the ball well. Our defense carried over into our offense we did a really good job of getting stops and holding a team that has the potential to score a lot of points to 34%. Guarding the three-point line well in the first half, they were 1-13. We did a lot of things to start generating confidence so it was fun to be a part of." 

On if he's now a point forward
"I think so (smiling). I got a behind-the-back pass and the pass was on. I'm just playing my game to be honest, just having fun out there. All smiles, it was a fun game."

On how it felt to have this good scoring performance from the team
"It was just fun, like I said. I feel like we could've done this the whole season, but yeah, it was just fun."

On how did it feel to knock down the first 3 of the season
"Man, good, because I missed the first one bad, and I was like 'uh-oh'. But then, you know, we were up, had it going. A little stepback."

On Kimani Lawrence's role
"He's the glue man for us. We play off his energy, off everything he does, he's a vet. I think he's coming up on most games ever played, I think he's gonna beat that. Proud of him, proud of him. He's just the glue man."