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Men's Hoops Completes Home Sweep; Tops Oregon State 73-53

Feb 19, 2022

The Arizona State Sun Devils men's basketball team (10-15, 6-9) carried their momentum from Thursday night's 81-57 win against Oregon into Saturday night's contest, defeating the Oregon State Beavers (3-22, 1-14), 73-53. The Sun Devils are currently on a three-game win streak, matching their longest of the season. ASU took the lead 29 seconds into the game and never let it get closer than 2-2 a minute into the game.

The win gave ASU back-to-back 20-point Pac-12 wins for the first time since January of 2003, when ASU beat Washington by 32 (Jan. 9) and Washington State by 41 (Jan. 11). It also marked ASU's 13th straight win over Oregon State in Tempe.

The first half saw the Sun Devils outscore the Beavers 42-29, as Jalen Graham kicked off the offense by connecting on a short jumper on the game's first possession and the Sun Devils never looked back, maintaining the lead for the entirety of the game. Arizona State scored on each of their first three possessions, including a tough and-one layup from Marreon Jackson to get the crowd at Desert Financial Arena going.

ASU 73, Oregon State 53/Feb. 19, 2022
ASU 75, Oregon State 73/Feb. 14, 2021
ASU 74, Oregon State 73/Feb. 22, 2020
ASU 70, Oregon State 67/Jan. 17, 2019
ASU 77, Oregon State 75/Jan. 13, 2018
ASU 86, Oregon State 68/Jan. 28, 2016
ASU 73, Oregon State 55/Jan. 28, 2015
ASU 86, Oregon State 82 (OT)/Feb. 6, 2014
ASU 76, Oregon State 66/Jan. 14, 2012
ASU 80, Oregon State 66/Mar. 5, 2011
ASU 56, Oregon State 46/Feb. 11, 2010
ASU 69, Oregon State 38/Jan. 8, 2009
ASU 72, Oregon State 53/Jan. 5, 2008

Defensive intensity was the focal point for the Sun Devils in the first half. They scored 15 first half points off of 12 Oregon State turnovers and forced the Beavers to turn the ball over five times in the first four minutes. They also defended the three-point line extremely well, allowing only two Oregon State three-pointers in the entire game (2-of-19), both coming in the first half.

The Sun Devils would finish the first half shooting a solid .529 from the field, hitting 18-of-34 shots. Kimani Lawrence scored 11 first half points and shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. 

The second half saw much of the same. The Sun Devils forced a turnover on the very first play of the second half, which lead to a Jay Heath three on the other end. The ensuing possession saw Oregon State miss a three-pointer, leading to a statement dunk by Alonzo Gaffney and forcing the Beavers to call a timeout just less than a minute into the second half. 

The Sun Devils continued to play strong defense the rest of the game, forcing 19 Oregon State turnovers. Despite only hitting ten second half shots, the offense continued to flow for the Sun Devils, as they shot 28-of-62 (.452) from the field and 8-of-25 (.320) from the three-point line. The largest lead of the night was 26, thanks to a Marreon Jackson three-pointer. Over the last three games, the Sun Devils are shooting 83-for-165 (.503) from the field and 23-for-61 (.377) from the three-point line. 

Marreon Jackson led all scorers with 15 points, nine of them coming from behind the three-point line. Four other Sun Devils reached double figures. Jay Heath finished with 13 points and five rebounds while Kimani Lawrence had 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Jalen Graham finished with 12 points despite being in foul trouble, and DJ Horne scored 10 points and dished a Sun Devil career-high six assists. To top off a commanding win, for the first time this season, all of the Sun Devil walk-ons got to play in front of the home crowd. 

132 – Jon Gilling, '11-15
131 – Derek Glasser, '06-10
130 – Kimani Lawrence, '17-22
130 – Eric Jacobsen, '12-16
130 – Ty Abbott, '07-11

The Sun Devils look to continue their win streak and pull off another upset win when they visit No. 13 UCLA on Monday in Los Angeles. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT and will be airing on FS1.

DJ Horne now has 946 career points in 80 games, an 11.8 points per game average.

Jay Heath is 35-of-43 (.814) from the free throw line on the year after entering the year 71-of-114 (.623). He is averaging 12.5 points per game in 72 career games.

"I thought our approach was very good coming out, just the way we played offense and moved the ball, shared it… 17 assists tonight overall, it was really good. The defense I thought was very active, the way we focused on Lucas. We know how lethal he can be from behind the three-point line, so I thought the guys did a good job of chasing him around, just having an awareness for him, making things difficult. We guarded the three-point line well. Again, a lot of positives tonight."
On to what he attributes the improvement in performance
"I'd probably say the diversity of what we can do with our attack. What I mean by that is just the impact that Kimani Lawrence and Jalen Graham can have catching the ball at the elbows, the midpost, and giving us an opportunity to score easier in the paint. These guys, you have to account for them, and we had a 28-10 points in the paint advantage at halftime. These guys are making pretty good decisions too, when you get the ball to Jalen Graham and Kimani (Lawrence), they're pretty good decision makers. Marreon (Jackson) has really stepped up the last couple weeks, DJ (Horne) in the second half of last game, and this game Jay (Heath) was good, but I think that what happens is just that we're getting more flow on some guys that are playing good. We had five guys on double tonight, so we always like to see that."
On how Kimani Lawrence is working defensively 
"Yeah, he's a guy you can really count on, he understands the concepts defensively. Overall, I thought just our activity was excellent, with deflections, I think we were 11-2 on fastbreak points in the first half, and that was because of the deflections, anticipation, and being in the right position. We knew they were short handed, with seven guys, I feel for Wayne (Tinkle), to have to go on to a game knowing that, and having played 3 games in five days, that's a lot for them. We wanted to try and pressure them a little more, and be able to force them to get back on defense, that was something that we talked about on pregame."
On if they made the defensive cohesiveness an area of focus
"I wish I could say that we found the secret, magic dust or whatever. But I just think that overall, since Washington State, the guys just realized after the Washington game that it starts with defense, and how we guard. So we guarded at Washington State, we guarded against Oregon, and again, we weren't quite as good defensively on the inside, and as the game got late in the going, they got too many baskets going to the rim, so that wasn't great in the last like eight minutes. Otherwise, I thought we were outstanding at that end of the court, and then it translated into just better movement, sharing the ball, and more trust on offense."