Devils pull away in 2nd half, humble Huskies

The score may be deceiving but the final result is obviously welcomed. Leading just 55-49 with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest, ASU went on an 18-6 run to hold off Houston Baptist en route to a 73-55 win in the first round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.

Arizona State (2-1) opened a 19-5 lead midway through the first half thanks in large to Trent Lockett who scored 8 points during that stretch. Andrew Gonzales who led all players on the floor with 26 points made sure that Houston Baptist (0-3) would not fall further behind, as the Huskies trailed 32-19 at the half.

In the second stanza the Sun Devils found themselves still scuffling with Houston Baptist and saw their lead dip deep into the single digits. Rihards Kuksiks who started the game 0-7 beyond the arc, hit three of four three-point shots to ignite the aforementioned 18-6 run and with some help from Lockett and Kyle Cain (12 rebounds in the second half) propelled the maroon and gold to their second win of the season.

Lockett paced ASU with 18 points and tied Jamelle McMillan with a team-high six assists each. Kyle Cain had 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while fellow true freshman Keala King had an ASU career-high of his own with 13 points, as well as five assists. Kuksiks scored all of his 12 points in the second half.

The Sun Devils dominated the boards to the tune of 46-23, including 18 offensive caroms and also recorded seven blocks. The Huskies were limited to just 37.7 percent shooting. On the other hand ASU had a horrendous outing on the free throw line converting just 42.3 percent (11 of 26) and converted just 6 of 27 from three-point territory.

ASU advances to Friday's 10 p.m. MT semifinal against Weber State.

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