Despite a Slow Start ASU Knocks Down Redhawks

The first few minutes of Arizona State's contest were anything but a prelude to what would follow. After starting 1-7 beyond the arc, the Sun Devils finished the night making good on 51 percent of their three-point shots (16-31) en route to a dominating 90-54 home win over Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday night.

Arizona State (2-0) was led by Jermaine Marshall and Jahii Carson who each scored 18 points. It was probably the output that was expected from Carson, who matched his career-high of eight assists, but his teammate performance was a pleasant surprise.

Jermaine Marshall, who also led the Sun Devils in their season opener last week with 19 points, continued to play at a high level as if he never had to battle with a valley fever illness of for several weeks leading up to the season.

"I just try to keep working hard and do everything I can to get healthy," Marshall said, and added that he has been staying in the gym and listening to the doctors, but is still taking practice easy.

The Miami's zone defense made it tempting to settle for three-point shots, which eventually turned from a deficiency to potency as the game progressed.

"I think earlier we took too many [3 pointers] but once we got into our rhythm things were looking good for us," Marshall said. "It was great to be able to shoot the ball that well and I hope we continue to do that.

Center Jordan Bachynski knew going into the game that Miami Ohio's zone defense was something they needed to tackle. His aggressive approach netted him another double double this season, scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds, marking the first time in his career where he had double digit outputs in both points and rebounds.

"That was our game plan to attack the zone by going high low and we did a great job with that early on, just getting in a high post and quick bounce pass and I got a couple dunks because of that." Bachynski said.

His four blocks tonight have elevated the senior to 7th all time in career blocks among Pac-12 players.

"It is humbling," Jordan reflected. "There have been great players, great shot blockers in the Pac-12 and to be on a team were my coach lets me do that."

Aside from blocking, Bachynski has been focusing on rebounding in practice as well, and his displays in the first couple of contests this year are a testament to the increased focus he has out on that aspect.

"That's my number one goal right now, to rebound," Bachynski stated, "to help my team in anyway I can and I've been talking to the coaches and that's the main why I can help our team."

One aspect of the game where the team came up a bit short was free throws, an area which was a glaring weakness last season and did ultimately cost ASU a couple of victories. Tonight ASU was only able to convert just 30.8% of its free throws.

"It is all on us," Bachynski admitted. "Coaches are doing everything they can to let us get shots in practice. I mean we are getting it on our own, it's just getting used to throwing free throws in games when you are fatigued, and that's on us."

Even though the team sliced right through Miami, Jermaine Marshall sees some things the team can improve on. "I think we had some slip ups at the end of the game," Marshal commented, "and to be a great team that can't happen, but all in all I think we are doing a great job thus far especially in practice. I think we have a lot of work to do, just keep getting better especially defense."

Head coach Herb Sendek was happy with the team's performance and what has been accomplished in the first couple of contests in this young season.

"All in all I thought it was a good game for us," Sendek stated. "I think the first two games our team has done what they needed to do. Even when the score was clearly favorable for us, our guys continued to play the right way all the way to the very end."

Arizona State will take on Idaho State on Friday who is currently 2-0. Tip-off is at 7 pm at Wells Fargo Arena.


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