Devils Win Exhibition Opener

The maroon and gold kicked off the 2005-06 season with a meeting against Carleton Ravens, Canada's top collegiate basketball team. It was a typical scrappy display that one would expect from a team paying its first game of the season. The many peaks and valleys by the home team, culminated with a 70-58 victory.

Arizona State opened with Craig Austin, Serge Angounou, Allen Morill, Antwi Atuahene, and Kevin Kruger. Tyrone Jackson sat out for disciplinary reasons, and Jeff Pendergraph is still recovering from a knee injury and won't be available until much later this month. Austin scored the team's first three points, nd following a three-pointer by Kruger the score was all tied at 12-12 with 11:30 left in the first half. Bryson Krueger brought a spark off the bench and helped kick-off a 13-2 run that put the home team ahead 25-14 at the 6:21 mark of the first half. However, the Devils went cold managing just four more points in the opening stanza as they went down to the locker room with a 29-22 lead.

Four points by Angounou gave ASU one of its biggest leads of the night, 40-27 with nearly five minutes gone by in the second half. The Ravens came back with their hot shooting behind the arc, to cut the lead to three 51-48, with 5:40 remaining in the contest. Atuahene, who scored 12 points in this period, rallied his teammates to re-open the margin the last few minutes, and give him the satisfaction of beating many of the players he has faced throughout the years in his home country.

Atuahene finished with 16 points and six boards, and paced four Sun Devils in double digit scoring. Kruger played all 40 minutes, and chipped in with 11 points and a team-high six assists. Angounou and Krueger had 10 points each. Austin grabbed nine rebounds and had two blocks. ASU shot 38.7% from the field and 80% from the line. They forced the Ravens into 23 turnovers, and out rebounded them 42-34..

" I thought for our first basketball game, we can take some positives out of this," said ASU Head Coach Rob Evans. "I thought that for two and half weeks of practice, the guys did a pretty good job defensively. We have a lot of work to do, but this is the earliest that we had an exhibition game since I've been here. It was good for us because some of these young guys get to see what we're talking about as far as defensive intensity on this level. The first half I wasn't happy with how we rebounded the ball, but in the second half we did a better job."

"I think it went pretty well," Atuahene commented following his ASU debut. "The speed of the game was a lot different. When I got my second wind, my game picked up. In time, I will push the ball more. Today, I was tentative pushing the ball, trying not to make too many mistakes. I felt more comfortable as the game went on, and I have a lot more confidence after tonight."

The Sun Devils will host their second and last exhibition game against the University of Alberta on November 14th at 7 P.M.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories