Seniors' hot shooting nets Devils a home win

While the season as a whole has been frustrating for the Sun Devils, everything seemed to come together Thursday night for the maroon and gold. ASU dropped Oregon 73-53 and its three seniors playing in their next to last home game were at the forefront of his victory.

Playing one of the two teams they have beaten in Pac-10 play this season, ASU seemed to play with an energy and confidence that has been rarely seen for any significant stretch during this dismal season. While nobody wins a basketball game without the other team making a run, ASU kept Oregon's runs to a minimum and kept the pressure on by hitting 16 threes, 13 by seniors Ty Abbott and Rik Kuksiks.

"When they play zone you have to shoot the ball," Kuksiks pointed out. "Just move the ball and whoever gets the open look, finishing it, and that's pretty much the game."

Kuksiks led the way with seven threes himself, but Abbott tacked on six to go with five assists in a great all around effort.

"It feels good for a couple shooters," Abbott said of their collective 13 three-pointers. "You get open looks, that's all you need.

"We just knew how to attack it. We knew what they were going to do when we send guys through on the baseline, just the way to reverse the ball, things like that. We were well prepared coming in to it and it showed."

Abbott started the game with a three, and ASU assisted on their first 15 shots made. The team looked crisp from the start and never slumped long enough to relinquish a lead. Every time ASU got in trouble, they would bail themselves out with another three-pointer (or two…or three).

"It's kind of been our story all year that we get out and play well in the beginning then we have that time in the middle that we had today," Abbott mentioned. "Usually we don't come back from those little lulls. It felt good to weather the storm a little bit and be able to pull one out."

While the threes rained all night long, the Sun Devils had one of their better games on the boards as well, tying the much taller Oregon in rebounds at 37. Including eight from Kyle Cain and six for Jordan Bachynski in six minutes.

"I think we did pretty good down low," Abbott declared. "We were physical and we showed (Joevan) Catron a lot of looks. We had a lot of guys surrounding him even if Kyle was on him, we really wanted to let him know that it wasn't one-on-one down low and there was a lot of attention being drawn down low.

"They got some open threes off of that, but we'll live with threes because it's not a high percentage shot. If we can keep the guys who score the most out of high percentage shots then we'll do that."

While the season's end can't come quick enough, its wins like this that have to make the seniors miss their time in Wells Fargo Arena.

"I kind of came out today just wanting to play, just wanting to win," Abbott stated. "We wanted to get these last two wins. It's big for us just to end it on a somewhat positive note. Especially at home, it's your last games and you never want to go out losing in your last games, so that's pretty much where we're at and we want to take this momentum from this game and try to win the second one."


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