Devils rout Bengals in getaway game

In a rare midweek afternoon affair, it was business as usual for the 17th ranked Sun Devils. ASU took care of Idaho State and entered their Holiday break on a high note, winning 90-55. In the process the maroon and gold established a school record of 17 three-point baskets, and played their most complete game of the year.

"I thought our guys were really sharp this afternoon," said head coach Herb Sendek. "I was really pleased with the way they made each other better. I thought we played excellent team basketball on both ends of the floor."

With 25 assists on only 28 field goals, that would probably qualify as a gross understatement.

And that wasn't the only eye popping stat.

Arizona State (10-1) forced 19 Idaho State (2-9) turnovers and 13 steals, while committing just six fouls.

"It was a fun game from our standpoint to watch. It was good basketball," commented Sendek. "Obviously we shot the ball well and that helps in a lot of areas. A lot of things look good and feel good and go your way when you shoot the way we did today."

It was a slow start out of the gate for the hosts, who found themselves down 7-5 at the 14:50 mark. Rihards Kuksiks heated up with four baskets beyond the arc and helped the Devils to a 26-17 lead with 7:56 left in the half. The sophomore was 5-6 from three-point range and contributed 15 points.

"James (Harden) penetrates and finds me, and I knock them down. That's what I do," said Kuksiks.

It was smooth sailing from there, as ASU held a 43-28 edge at the half, making good on ten shots from long range.

In the second stanza, ASU didn't let up. They held Idaho State to just one field goal and four points in the first nine minutes and led 70-32 at that juncture. A letdown before the holidays was nowhere in sight.

"We talked about playing well the entire game," explained Sendek. "To our guys credit they didn't need a lot of urging…they wanted to do it."

James Harden, who led all players with 18 points, echoed those sentiments. "We didn't want to come out here after a good win against BYU sluggish," he said, "guys worried about traveling…we wanted to come out here and execute our offense, which we did and just come out with a victory."

Harden played a season-low 26 minutes.

Ty Abbott had 14 points. Derek Glasser tied a career-high with nine assists, and added 11 points, as did Jeff Pendergraph, who also had a team-high eight rebounds.

ASU was 53.1% (17-32) from three-point range, and had a 31-28 edge on the boards.

Former local prep player Kal Bay led the visitors with 12 points.

Midway through the second half seldom used ASU reserves Taylor Rohde and Kraidon Woods entered the game, and along with their teammates scored 19 points the rest of the way. Rohde actually tied for second best on the team with four rebounds.

"Everybody played today, it was a real team win," stated Sendek. "It was an excellent contribution from all the guys. The more guys that are playing well, and the more guys that are doing good things, you hope that at some point synergy takes over and guys do make each other better.

"That's the way the game was meant to be played."

So was there any blemish in today's convincing victory?

"Today we had 56 (ball) deflections," said Harden. "I asked (Sendek) what was the record?

"He said 57."


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