Sun Devils Rebound Against Hornets

After a thumping loss against Nebraska three days ago, there would be no Husker Hangover for the maroon and gold. Solid and inspired play on both ends of the court put ASU back in the win column as they dominated Delaware State 77-38 in front 5,888 spectators at Wells Fargo Arena.

"I thought our guys were really anxious to get back on the court tonight," said Coach Herb Sendek. "They were ready to try and make amends for the way we played on Sunday…I was really pleased with the way we played together. On 30 field goals we had 25 assists and we really emphasized going into the game that we had to work to make each other better."

Three pointers by James Harden and Jerren Shipp put Arizona State (5-2) up 8-0 at the 16:49 mark and forced Delaware State (3-5) to call an early timeout. The maroon and gold didn't let up on defense, while a Harden to Jeff Pendergraph alley-hoop put the Sun Devils ahead 15-1 with 11:48 left in the half. At the 10:33 mark the Hornets finally registered their first field goal. Harden scored his 17th point of the game with a shot behind the arc, and the hosts were up by 20, 29-9, with 6:36 left in the opening stanza.

Delaware State started to heat up a bit offensively, but still couldn't stop the hosts on the other end of the floor, namely Eric Boateng. The Duke transfer had his best game in the maroon and gold, albeit against an undersized squad, and scored his 10th point, on a perfect 5-5 shooting, of the game at the 3:41 mark to give his team a 37-15 edge.

"Eric did a great job especially in transition for us," Sendek commented. "He probably has to take Derek (Glasser) and Jamelle (McMillan) out to dinner, because both of those guys did a great job of getting him the ball inside."

The first twenty minutes of Sun Devil dominance ended with a 39-21 score, as the Hornets were held to just 19.2% shooting from the field, while encountering a torrid ASU offense that converted at 55.2% clip.

ASU opened the second half with a 7-0 run capped off by a Jerren Ship three-point basket that gave his team a 46-21 advantage. At the 13:25 mark of the second half a three-point basket by the Hornets broke another long scoring drought by the visitors, but tonight it was obviously too little, too late. The Devils held the Hornets to 22.2% shooting in the second half, while being near perfect shooting an astounding 82.4%.

Jamelle's McMillan three-pointer made it 62-31 at the 6:27 mark. Kraidon Woods and Rihards Kuksiks entered the scoring column in the waning moments of the contest en route to the convincing victory.

Harden led all players with 24 points and eight rebounds. Boateng was the only other Sun Devil in double figures with his ten points. Derek Glasser had a game-high seven assists, which paced a solid team effort on the night - 25 total assists. ASU committed just seven turnovers, and was 43.8% beyond the arc. Donald Johnson led the Hornets with nine points.

On Saturday Herb Sendek's team will face one its tougher non-conference opponents this season, and a fairly regular member of the NCAA post-season tournament, Coppin State. "I think they're very similar in their approaches (to Delaware State)," he remarked. "We played them once at NC State. They're very deliberate, they play multiple defenses…Coach Mitchell (Head Coach Ron Mitchell) has been doing it a long time and has had a legendary career. People who know the history of basketball have seen Coppin State over the years go and play with everybody."

Tip-off for the Sun Devils against Eagles is at 2 pm at Wells Fargo Arena. "Need everybody to come Saturday afternoon," said Sendek, "and help juice this place up."

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