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ASU Defeats No. 20 Michigan to win Legends Classic Championship

Nov 17, 2022
Justin Cohen Photography

BROOKLYN - In the history of Sun Devil Men's Basketball, there had never been a larger victory over a ranked opponent until Thursday night at the Barclays Center, when Arizona State trounced No. 20 Michigan by 25, 87-62, to win the 2022 Legends Classic. 

Arizona State (4-1) dominated the proceedings, leading wire-to-wire. The victory was Bobby Hurley's tenth over a ranked opponent in his eight years with Arizona State and earned him the third mid-season tournament crown of his career. 


The Sun Devil defense suffocated Michigan, holding them to season lows in multiple key offensive categories including points (62), field goal percentage (34) and three point field goal percentage (18).


KEY MOMENTS

  • DJ Horne splashed in ASU's first trey of the game early, putting the Sun Devils ahead 5-0 at 17:50.
  • Arizona State went on an 8-0 run in 1:40 to put Arizona State ahead by double-digits, 15-5 with 15:04 to play in the first half.
  • ASU forced four straight #20 Michigan missed layups in :32 seconds from 12:42-12:10 in the first half, aided by strong paint presence from Duke Brennan.
  • Defense reigned supreme, with ASU forcing the #20 Michigan offense to 1-12 and nine consecutive misses midway through the first half.
  • The Sun Devils made five of their last six shots going into halftime and led by as much as 23 in the final minute of the opening stanza.
  • ASU shut down any chances of a #20 Michigan comeback attempt with a 19-9 run over 7:37 from 16:33-8:56 left in the second half.

FIRST HALF

The squads opened up competition with a blistering pace, with five total shots including three from behind the arch in the first 1:40 of the contest. Desmond Cambridge Jr. got the scoring started, putting ASU on the board with two makes from the free throw line at 18:20.

Arizona State made their first triple of the night on their first attempt as DJ Horne put ASU ahead by five with 17:50 left in the half. 


After trading a few buckets, Devan Cambridge kept the Sun Devils perfect from three at 16:22 and put ASU back in front by five, 10-5. Horne knocked in a midrange at 15:48, the third straight Sun Devil make and extended the ASU lead to seven into the media timeout.


Off a Wolverine miss, Desmond Cambridge Jr. cashed in another triple, putting ASU up by double-digits, 15-5. It capped a 10-2 scoring stretch over 2:42 including an 8-0 run in 1:40.


Horne swished in another trey, ASU's fifth bucket in a row at 14:14, followed by Brennan punching in a layup over three UM defenders at 13:27, forcing the lead to 11. 

ASU's defense shined, with the Sun Devils forcing four straight missed layups in :32 including Brennan nearly rejecting the last attempt. 

Fresh into the game, Austin Nunez stroked his first triple with 11:16 left and at the under-12 media timeout, Arizona State boasted a 25-10 lead over the Wolverines. Michigan was 3-16 from the floor through the first 9:05.


Off another Wolverine miss, Luther Muhammad
 drove into traffic and made a layup at 9:48 forcing a Michigan timeout. Arizona State was on a 9-0 run over 3:23. The Wolverines missed their next two shots out of the timeout, bringing them to nine straight misses and no points over 4:40.

Austin Nunez followed up Hunter Dickinson's first field goal with his third three pointer at 6:55, bringing him up to eight points early. Out of the television break, Warren Washington denied the No in the paint for ASU's first block of the game at 4:39. 

Devan Cambridge broke an ASU drought on a jumper with 3:30 left, bringing the Sun Devil lead back to 17. His brother Desmond Jr. made his second three of the game with 2:49 left on the ensuing possession.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. then made another bucket, the third straight ASU make, all from Cambridge brothers. 


T
he fourth consecutive Sun Devil shot dropped on a three from Nunez at 1:22. His 11 first half points were a career high. Nunez also earned a career high in 3PFG equaled his career high in total makes in just the first half.

The freshman firepower continued as Brennan gave ASU their largest lead of the game at 23, 46-23 with :51 to play in the half


Arizona State held the Wolverines to 9-30 from the floor and 2-9 from three in the first half. The Sun Devils dominated the opening period, leading Michigan 46-28 at the break. ASU made five of its last six shots. Michigan was held to season lows in first half FGM and first half shooting percentage.

SECOND HALF
ASU got the scoring started again in the second half as Collins snatched an offensive rebound and made a layup, bringing the Sun Devil advantage up to 20 with 19:20 left in the contest. 

Little flow was evident at the start of the second half until Washington smashed in an
alley-oop with 16:33 to play.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. buried the first Sun Devil triple of the frame and the ninth of the game with 15:19 left and
Devan erased a Michigan layup try on the next possession.

The Cambridge brothers got on another heater, with Desmond Jr. slamming one home on an assist from Washington, bringing him up to 18 points and the Sun Devil lead up to 19, 60-41 with 13:35 to play. It was ASU's third consecutive basket.

Arizona State was hosting a block party on Atlantic Avenue as Brennan smacked the third ASU rejection of the half and fourth of the game with 12:26 left.


Out of the under-12 media timeout, ASU turned a missed Michigan triple into a Horne basket with 10:55 left, the Sun Devils' fourth make in their last five shots.


Alonzo Gaffney made his presence felt with 10:36 left, turning aside Dickinson with some help defense in the paint. ASU turned another two Michigan missed shots into baskets by Horne and Nunez with 9:45 left in regulation.


At a Michigan called timeout with 9:20 left, ASU was on an 8-0 run over 2:43 and Michigan was on a 3:30 scoring drought including five straight misses and one of their last seven from the floor.


The attempt to cool Arizona State was unsuccessful as Horne swished in a three with 8:56 left, bringing the lead to a game-high 28, 71-43.


Following a basket by Nunez to bring the lead to 30, ASU was on an 18-3 scoring stretch over 5:42 including six straight makes and held the Wolverines to one of their last seven. The Sun Devils earned their largest lead of the night, 32, after a Frankie Collins layup made it 80-48 with 4:26 to play.


Arizona State closed out the contest without an inkling of a Wolverine comeback.


QUOTABLES

Arizona State Head Coach Bobby Hurley
On ASU's excellent defensive performance…
He (Hunter Dickinson) is scary because he's so big, is a great passer and has great touch. They have really good shooters too. Our judgment was good when we helped on him and we tried to do it before he could spray the ball around the court to open shooters. I thought the guys did a great job with a quick turnaround and prep with the game yesterday. To be able to do that was pretty good.

On how momentum from yesterday played into tonight…
I had great feelings about DJ. DJ dove on the floor, took a huge charge last night and he can really score. He struggled to make shots last night but he made that one late in the left corner. When you make those plays late, I knew he would be ready to knock down shots tonight. Same thing with Desmond Cambridge Jr. He is in a new environment and had a breakout game. Last night, he had a three-point game in the paint and I thought 'alright, he can get it going tonight.' It was great to see that and the balance we had on offense.

On winning in front of his family…
It felt great. I told the guys that there's nothing better than playing great basketball in this city. It is really appreciated here. It was on full display on our end tonight. The way the guys played, making shots, making plays, guarding with energy, in a place like New York where basketball is so special, I think the fans and people that watched this tonight really appreciated our performance. I told the guys, 'I won a lot of games in New Jersey but I never won anything big in New York.'

On comradery and what it means to him as a coach… 

I have the ultimate respect for these guys. We had a tough couple days. It would be easy to hang your head coming in here, but they showed great character to fight back the way that they did last night and to just be at the top of their game today. You're always striving to play at your best and we got unbelievable performances from everyone. How about the little guy, the young guy, Austin Nunez? There were a lot of good things and a lot for us to look forward to as a basketball team. We got a glimpse of the potential we could have if we really continue to develop as a team.
 

Arizona State Guard DJ Horne
On scoring outburst against Michigan…
"I wasn't really thinking about last night. We got a team win. I looked at a lot of things we did last night and I think it started with our defense. I wanted to start today with that, emphasizing that defense is going to get us this win. As a shooter, we have to have quick mindset and shoot the shot the same way every time. I give a lot of credit to my teammates for finding me in good spots tonight."
 

Arizona State Guard Frankie Collins
On playing against Michigan…
"It was a good win. I was happy about it. They're a great team, we played together and did a lot of the right things. Our defense was elite and it was really fun." 
 

NOTABLES

  • ASU set a new program record with their 25 point winning margin, their largest ever over a ranked opponent. The previous best 22, as ASU downed #17 Xavier on Dec. 15, 2007.
  • It was also the largest margin of victory by an unranked Pac-12 team against a ranked opponent in 15 seasons since USC downed #19 Southern Illinois by 25, 70-45, on 11/25/07.
  • The victory was Hurley's tenth over a Top-25 opponent and the first since ASU knocked off No. 3 UCLA 87-84 on Feb. 5, 2022. Three of those 10 victories have come in November tournaments.
  • ASU shot 32-53 (60%) from the floor. It is just the third time ASU has shot at least 60% in the Coach Hurley era. It is the first time the Sun Devils have shot at least 60% from the field and 55% from three in the same game since defeating UC Irvine on 11/19/17 and first time doing so against a ranked opponent since a win over #11 UCLA back on 2/12/2009. 
  • With their six blocks, Arizona State is up to 30 through the first five games of the season. It is the third time in the last 23 years that ASU has recorded at least 30 blocks in the first five games and it is the most team blocks in the first five games of a season since 2013-14, where they had 39.
  • This is the first time since 2009-10, the Sun Devils have not allowed 70 points through five games.
  • ASU's eight three pointers in the first half was their second most threes in a full game this season when they hit nine against NAU. The Sun Devils finished with their new best 11 threes this season.
  • ASU's 12 turnovers were tied for a season low.
  • The Sun Devils handed the Big-10 just their third loss of the season.
  • Michigan was held to season lows in points (62), field goal percentage (34), three point field goal percentage (18), rebounds (31) and assists (10).
  • Again, Arizona State commanded the glass, winning the total rebounding battle 35-31. They have won the battle on the boards in all four of their victories this year.
  • The Sun Devils got 33 of their 87 points off the bench, winning that category 33-22 against the Wolverines. It was a season high in bench points for the Sun Devils.
  • A season-high four Sun Devils - Desmond Cambridge Jr. (20), DJ Horne (19), Austin Nunez (15) and Luther Muhammad (13) - were in double figures.
  • Nunez's 15 are a career high, the third consecutive game and second straight day he's notched a career high in scoring.
  • Opponents are now shooting 9-48 (18%) in the first half against ASU from three point distance and 25-102 (24%) overall from shots beyond the arc.
  • Michigan was shooting 47.6% from the field prior to shooting just 34% tonight.
  • Arizona State was nearly perfect from the free throw line, making 12-14 attempts and is 28-35 (80%) in their last two games.
  • The Sun Devils have now won 10 neutral site contests under Hurley.
  • Seven Sun Devils scored in the first 9:33 of the contest and nine scored in the contest.
  • This is the third mid-season tournament victory in the Bobby Hurley era.
  • ASU is now 4-0 against Michigan all-time.
  • The Sun Devils improve to 3-1 at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.

UP NEXT
Arizona State has a few days off before they host Grambling State as part of the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series at Desert Financial Arena Tuesday night at 7:00 MST. The game will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Network.