Devils Handle Huskers, Win Their Holiday Tourney

Just like their Football team, Nebraska basketball isn't enjoying a good season. However, unlike their Football counterparts they weren't able to overcome the Sun Devils. ASU handled the visitors early on in the game, and never let go. Coach Rob Evans' team won 75-63 and goes into Pac-10 play on a four game winning streak.

For the first five minutes Nebraska played ASU tough, and even took a brief 12-10 lead. In what was the turning point of the game, the Devils exploded to a 22-4 run to take the lead at 32-16. Tommy Smith and Ike Diogu established themselves during that run, with the Huskers unable to answer them down low. Both teams went back and forth trading baskets, and the score at half time was 40-25. In the second half, Smith and Diogu were racking havoc giving their Devils their biggest lead of the night 54-34. The Huskers decided to make it interesting going on run (18-7) of their own, and cutting down their deficit to 61-52. Curtis Milage made some key free throws down the stretch to secure the victory and give the Sun Devils their 11th tournament championship in the last 14 years.

Who was the leading scorer for ASU? Maybe we should stop asking that question and just always assume it's Ike Diogu who had 21 points. Smith had a season-high 16 points, and Millage battled a cold shooting night from the field (3-13) by going 5-5 from the line and overall chipping in 11 points. Speaking of the free throw line, ASU's 89.9% (16-18) was a welcomed sight for team that has been miserable all season in that area. Another impressive number was the seven turnovers - which ties a record low for a Rob Evans team. Donnell Knight continued to asset himself as the team's leading rebounder grabbing seven boards, as did Smith. Smith had an excellent all around game adding six assists, two blocks, and a pair of steals to his stat line tonight. While ASU was dominant most of the game, it surprisingly lost the rebound battle 33-31, and let the visitors shoot 45.3%.

ASU opens Pac-10 play with an Oregon road trip. They'll play the Beavers on Thursday and the Ducks on Saturday. The Devils will look to avenge last year's sweep in this state, and start off conference play on the right note.

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