Devils earn ‘hard fought' win

In a late night affair in Tempe the maroon and gold realized fairly quickly that they won't be able to sleepwalk their way to victory against Texas State. Thanks to reserves Trent Lockett and Ty Abbott, ASU was finally able to break away late in the first half, en route to an 84-62 victory in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Wells Fargo Arena in front of 5,457 in attendance.

"I thought that was a really good hard fought win for our team," said Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek. "Texas State has a tremendous amount of toughness and really took it to us on the offensive glass and in the post. But our guys battled and we got a big lift obviously from Ty – great to have him available for at least some portion of the game."

The Sun Devils' (2-0) zone defense was comprised early in the contest by back to back threes by Texas State's (1-1) John Rybak. Trent Lockett, who replaced starter Jerren Shipp with less than three minutes into the game, along with some shots beyond the arc by Rihards Kuksiks and Jamelle McMillan gave the hosts a 19-11 lead at the 13:42 mark.

ASU went cold for the next three minutes and saw the visitors go on a 9-0 run. Both teams exchanged the lead for the next few minutes, but with less than five minutes left in the first half Ty Abbott, who missed ASU's season opener recovering from knee surgery, scored on a jumper that gave his team a 25-24 edge and the lead for the rest of the night.

The junior added a couple of three pointers and along with Lockett guided the Devils to a 39-26 halftime advantage.

In the second stanza ASU continued to pour on the points, yet not quite making life difficult for the Bobcats on offense as they often were coughing off the ball allowing the visitors easy baskets.

Abbott's last basket from downtown awarded the maroon and gold a 20-point advantage, 50-30, at the 13:44 mark. Lockett's 10 points in that period along with Derek's Glasser's 14 points assured ASU smooth sailing until the final buzzer was sounded.

Glasser led all players with 20 points (6-6 from the free throw line) and four steals, while his assists and turnovers balanced each other out as he recorded four apiece. Lockett finished his second ever game in the maroon and gold with 17 points and seven rebounds. Eric Boateng was a rebound shy of a double-double as he grabbed nine caroms to go along with his 14 points. Abbott had 11 points in just 14 minutes of play.

ASU shot 52.1 percent from the field and 56.3% from beyond the arc. Nonetheless, those impressive shooting statistics are somewhat negated by a 65.8 percent shooting from the charity stripe. The hosts had 20 turnovers, 12 of them in the second half; however they also forced Texas State into 27 turnovers and had 17 steals.

Cameron Johnson paced Texas State with 14 points. The Bobcats edged the Sun Devils on the glass 39-35, including an 18-10 advantage in offensive rebounds.

With three starters each logging in 30 minutes or more, and a tip-off scheduled, after a day of classes, just 22 hours after the end Monday night's game, ASU will undoubtedly battle fatigue as they face TCU for a Tuesday 9:30 pm tip-off. The Horned Frogs won the early evening game on Monday with an 83-65 win over Cal State Northridge.

The winner of Tuesday's night contest will advance to the NIT semifinals at New York City's Madison Square Garden where they will likely face Duke.

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