Devils Leave Mean Green Blue in the Face

With 1:19 left in the second half and the crowd counting down the shot clock, Bryson Krueger threw up a fade away three from the right wing to beat the buzzer. Just like nearly everything else he threw up on Wednesday night, it was good from the get-go. Krueger scored 19 of his career high 27 points in the second half to pace the Sun Devils to their fourth victory in as many games with an 83-67 victory over the visiting Mean Green from North Texas whose record dropped to 1-2.

"I thought Bryson did a good job on both ends of the floor," Coach Evans said of his guard's performance. "He played pretty good defense but I certainly thought offensively he was very good." Krueger was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc, 6-of-6 at the free throw line, had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and even 2 blocks to cap off his career night. His 7 straight points early in the second half put the Sun Devils on top 53-40, leaving North Texas defenders at the feet of the 6-7 junior guard.

"Shots feeling kind of good right now," a smiling Krueger said afterward. "They were giving me a couple good looks. Antwi, Tyrone, and Kevin were hitting me when I was open so I was just taking advantage of it." Antwi Atuahene turned in his second solid performance in as many games with 11 points and 7 assists in only 21 minutes due to foul trouble.

Atuahene sparked a late 13-0 run in the first half in which he scored 7 points and dished out a pair of assists including the capper to Tyrone Jackson. "He's just getting better and better," Evans said of his Canadian import. "Antwi is going to find open people and if those guys just run to open spots then they're gonna to get the basketball and have easy baskets.

The Mean Green was lead by Arkansas transfer Kendrick  Davis' 23 points in 33 minutes of work. North Texas' leading scorer entering the game, Jeffrey Simpson, was held to 8 points in only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. The two other Sun Devils to score in double figures were junior Serge Angounou, who chimed in with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Jackson, who continued his steady start with 10 points of his own.

The headliner though was Krueger, who added 10 pounds to his frame in order to shoulder more of the scoring load this season. "Last year I settled for the jumper a lot, this year I'm trying to mix it up, trying to go to the basket, trying to draw fouls, trying to get to the free throw line. I just want to do different things."

Coach Evans and Sun Devil faithful are hoping that those different things will lead to more of these same types of performances.

Game Notes:

-Former Sun Devil Keith Wooden was on the North Texas bench watching his old crew battle his new squad. Wooden spent two years in the valley and transferred after last season

- The 4-0 start marks the first time since 1994-1995 the Devils have started the season with as many as four wins. That team ended up in the sweet 16 and was lead by former Suns first-rounder Mario Bennett.

Next Up: Arizona State will take on Big 10 foe Minnesota, who was beaten by 83-66 at #20 Maryland as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. Coach Evans said after the game that Monday's showdown with the traditionally physical Gophers will be a "step-up".

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