Devils Bring Home Trophy

The game started out in a manner that made many Sun Devil fans nervous. A few minutes into the first half, the Devils trailed Northwestern 24-22. It looked like ASU might let another team hang around long enough to make the end of the game interesting.

However, Kenny Crandall had other ideas. He hit a three pointer to put the Sun Devils up by one and they never looked back. Crandall was only 3 for 8 from behind the arc for a total of 9 points, but the shooting threat helped loosen up the Wildcat defense for his teammates.

ASU built up an 11-point lead by halftime and led by 20 at one point. The Wildcats did manage to cut their deficit to only 9 halfway through the second half, but the Devils fought off the surge and put Northwestern away with a convincing 77-60 victory.

Curtis Millage and Chad Prewitt were the only Sun Devils to score in double figures. Millage was everywhere. He scored 19 points using a vast array of shots – three pointers, mid-range jumpers, fast break lay-ups, and quick drives to the basket for easy shots. He also played tight defense, tallied four steals, grabbed four boards, and dished out four assists.

Chad Prewitt led ASU in scoring with 22 points, 15 of those coming in the second half. He also grabbed four rebounds. His 19 points per game average for the tournament and his leadership on the floor for the Sun Devils garnered Prewitt the Tournament MVP trophy.

Millage and Prewitt were able to overshadow some mediocre performances from other Sun Devils. Tommy Smith continues his quest for the NCAA's record for most foul-outs during a season. He finished with an equal number of fouls and points, five. Jason Braxton started for the second time, but could not replicate his offensive numbers from Friday night. He scored four points on 0 for 6 shooting, but he did contribute with five rebounds.

On a brighter side, Kyle Dodd had a strong game in Braxton's relief. He had 6 points, showed more aggressiveness on the offensive end, and also played suffocating defense against Northwestern's guards – especially the back-up point guard.

The main stats that stand out from the game are that ASU out-rebounded NU 32 to 24 and forced 24 turnovers while only committing 14. ASU's aggressiveness also led to more opportunities at the charity stripe for the Devils. ASU was 21 for 29 from the line while the Wildcats were only 10 for 19.

In the end, ASU's aggressive defense and their refusal to fold when Northwestern made their run in the second half were too much for the Wildcats to overcome. Let's just hope the Sun Devils can have the same outcome when they play another team that shares Northwestern's mascot.

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