Huskers Hand Devils First Season Loss

Earlier in the season, Coach Evans called this newcomer-laden team "work in progress." Thus, the 66-60 loss to Nebraska can be filed as a hard lesson that will hopefully benefit a team, which is still dealing with a steep learning curve.

For the first ten minutes or so of the game, ASU was able to keep things close thanks to Ike Diogu and Jamal Hill. However, the Huskers were able to break away and went down at halftime with a 36-25 edge. A furious second half 21-6 run by ASU, which included five of the team's ten three point baskets, helped Evans' squad briefly grab the lead at 46-45 midway through the second half. Nebraska answered with a 16-7 run of its own, mainly due to Corey Simms' eight points. As it turned out, that spurt sealed the Devils' faith.

Steve Moore led all scorers with 22 points, and remarkably 20 of them came in the second half. While Ike Diogu kept his double digit scoring streak alive with 13, this game was one he would like to forget. Not only did he have six turnovers but he also fouled out. Once again Jamal Hill was solid off the bench adding 10 points. Will Fameni recorded his second straight double-digit rebound game with 11. Corey Simms and Andrew Drevo paced Nebraska with 13 points each.

Even though Nebraska barley edged ASU on the boards 39-38, their 16 offensive rebounds were detrimental for ASU's chances to sustain their comeback momentum. The Huskers were able to overcome a luke warm 39.7% from the field, with an impressive 12 steals and only seven turnovers. ASU's 16 turnovers are one glaring statistic that explains the woes it had in Lincoln tonight.

One can argue that all four regular season games thus far, have been baptism by fire for this green Arizona State crew. Tonight, the Sun Devils were not fortunate enough to overcome their shortcomings as they suffered their first loss of the 2003-04 campaign. Up next for ASU is their only marquee non-conference match-up, the Temple Owls on December 9th. This game will be a road game of sorts, as ASU plays this game at America West Arena. A win against the visitors from Philadelphia can quiet many fears and apprehensions fans have concerning this year's version of the Sun Devils. While a loss can raise even more red flags.

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