Devils Edge Owls on the Road

Out of conference road wins have been hard to come by for Arizona State in the last couple of years. With its struggles against the zone defense, playing a team such as Temple at their home court was, at least on paper, not a favorable match up for the maroon and gold. Nevertheless, Ike Diogu and company scrapped and battled all night long in Philadelphia and came back with a precious 65-62 road victory.

The Sun Devils (4-1) struggled at times during the first ten minutes, and a three-point basket by Temple's Mark Tyndale gave the Owls (1-3) their biggest lead of the night 19-11 at the 10:25 mark of the first stanza. A trio of three-point baskets by Kevin Kruger sent the Devils on a blistering 20-4 run to put ASU up 31-23 with three minutes left in the half. However, Temple didn't fold and after a 7-0 spurt found themselves trailing only 31-30 at halftime.

The second half was a closely fought battle that saw several lead changes and ties. Jason Braxton's jumper gave the maroon and gold a 38-36 lead at the 16:20 mark, but Dustin Salisbery scored five points on two consecutive possessions to give the home team the lead back 43-40 just two minutes later. Ultimately that was Temple's biggest lead in the second half. Four quick points by the ever-resurgent Serge Angounou put ASU on top for good 44-43 with 12:50 left in the game. The game was tied 57-57 with just over four minutes to go, and four made free throws down the stretch by Steve Moore help negate the two misses by Angounou from the charity stripe. Salisbery's three-point shot at the buzzer missed and it sent Rob Evans' team happy for the long trip back home.

Ike Diogu paced ASU with 15 points, but more impressing were his career best nine offensive rebounds (16 overall) and his three blocks. Fresh off his career high of 13 points, Angounou repeated that feat and achieved a career high in rebounds of 14. Moore also had 13 points and led the team in assists with five. Kruger was the only other Sun Devil in double figures with 12. ASU dominated in rebounds to the tune of 53-38, including 25 offensive rebounds.

After playing five games in nine days, only two of which were at home, ASU comes back to the friendly confines of Wells Fargo Arena for a seven-game home stand that will take them through all of December. Their first game back in Tempe will pit them against Cal State Northridge on Saturday at 12:30. The last three games have seen the Sun Devils come into their own and start fulfilling some of the potential some have been talking about during the off-season. Nothing would please the team and its followers more than to continue and ride this wave of momentum to the Pac-10 season, which is just a month away.

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