McMillan missed in poor offensive effort

Playing without their starting point guard in the Pac-10 home opener, the Sun Devils had a hard time getting into their offense in the 55-41 loss to the Stanford Cardinal. While one player doesn't solely affect the outcome of a game, the absence of senior point guard Jamelle McMillan was felt by all in Wells Fargo Arena.

Arizona State scored a season low 41 points to go with 15 turnovers (12 in the first half), and hit just one first half three in the loss.

While the team took care of the ball with only three turnovers in the second half, the dozen turnovers in the first stanza made it hard for the team to get into any rhythm offensively following the opening tip-off.

"They hurt us," sophomore guard Trent Lockett said of the turnovers. "I know me and Keala (King) each had three in the first half, those are just possessions wasted away. We don't get a shot up so we don't even get a chance to score or get an offensive rebound, so it definitely hurt us."

The Sun Devils posted ten assists on 17 made field goals to go along with their 15 turnovers, but other than ten points each from Lockett, Carrick Felix, and Ruslan Pateev respectively, the rest of the team combined for just 11, including senior Ty Abbott's seven points on 1-5 shooting.

"As a team we've got to do a better job," Lockett mentioned of Abbott's scoring. "He's our leader, we look to him but we've got to do a better job getting him shots, finding his man and screening him, and getting him the ball where he likes it. I think that's partially our fault as teammates."

Coach Herb Sendek feels Abbott's recent scoring slump has more to do with the opposition then anything.

"He didn't get a whole lot of looks tonight," Sendek said of Abbott. "They did a good job on him, and obviously teams know who he is just like how we try to identify the guys who could hurt us on the other team. So that means we're going to have to work extra hard to help him get some shots."

Still, Abbott wasn't about to put the blame of his lack of recent scoring on his teammates.

"It really just comes down to me hitting shots," Abbott commented. "I can't sit and make an excuse and say I'm not getting screened for or whatever, at some point you've just got to put the ball in the hole."

While the offensive performance left something to be desired, the Sun Devil defense gave up only 55 points of 42 percent shooting, and only allowed Stanford two three pointers on ten attempts. They effectively shut down the Cardinal's leading scorer Jeremy Green was just 2-10 from the field and posted seven points.

But don't tell Abbott and crew that as they were quick to dismiss defensive praise in the loss.

"They still had more points then we did," Abbott declared. "If we have a night where we're shooting 20 percent from the field we'll have to hold them to ten. There is no amount that we can say if we hold them to his amount we're going to win because there can be a night where we only score 40 points so we're going to have to hold them to 39.

"I couldn't really tell you (what the problem was defensively). It's all over. It depends: it's communication-type things, things that are really simple for us but in the mix of the game a guy forgets and assignment or doesn't hear a guy say ‘stay on the ball,' or whatever it is there are two or three points."

Wherever one wants to place blame for tonight's loss, ultimately this one came down to one thing: hitting shots.

"They made shots when they had to," Abbott offered, "We didn't; simple."


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