The Sun Devils took to Ned Wulk Court tonight looking to answer some of their questions and to quiet some of their critics. Unfortunately, neither really came to fruition during their 11-point victory over the Hornets of Delaware State University.
The first half was basically a free throw shooting contest for Ike Diogu. The senior went to the line eleven times, making ten of his attempts. The Hornets, however, were able to keep the game close by shooting 60 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Devils.
ASU was unable to put any separation between themselves and Delaware State until Diogu's left handed hook in traffic with 1:06 left in the half put them up by ten, 25-35. It appeared as if the Devils would head into the locker room with a comfortable margin, but two quick Sun Devil turnovers allowed DSU to run off six straight points before the buzzer sounded with 31-36 showing on the scoreboard.
The Hornets continued the streak after halftime; evening out the score at 36 with 18:07 left in the second half. That's when the shots stopped falling for the visitors. After beginning the half with two quick field goals, the Hornets only converted on three of their next twenty attempts, closing out the second half shooting an abysmal 22.7 percent from the floor.
After the game was tied, the teams played fairly sloppy, yet evenly matched basketball for the next six minutes. ASU would make a run and the Hornets would try to answer. DSU got the Sun Devils' lead down to three points after a floor length inbounds pass and dunk with 11:15 remaining in the game, but that is as close as they would get for the rest of the night.
From there on out, the Devils slowly built a lead and the game wasn't in any real doubt with about eight minutes remaining.
In the end, the Devils won on the back of Diogu's heroics, five more conversions from the free throw stripe, and by shooting just under 50 percent from the field for the game (ASU shot 47.6 percent compared to DSU at 40.5 percent).
Diogu paced all players with 32 points. Kevin Kruger and Steve Moore contributed 12 and nine points, respectively. Tyrone Jackson, Jason Braxton, and Tim Pierce also saw action in the game.
Former Sun Devils Tron Smith, Justin Allen, Brandon Goldman, and Jon Bray were in attendance…neither Keith Wooden nor Wilfred Fameni were called upon to enter the game…the announced crowd was 7068, but only half showed up…the Hornets ran an interesting offensive scheme that included dribbling and passing out on the perimeter to use up around 20 second on the shot clock before utilizing various screens to try to get an open look…ASU once again struggled a bit with the zone defense DSU utilized intermittently throughout the game…the student section's favorite activity still includes cussing at the top of their lungs to be heard by all…the Devils' next game is Friday night in Las Vegas against UTEP, starting at 8:30pm.
Devils Dunk DSU
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