"I thought the first half we played outstanding basketball on both ends of the court," Sendek stated. "Eric Boateng really set the tone for our team with a couple terrific hustle plays, ignited our defense. Offensively, our guys really executed the game plan. Made each other better and perhaps most significantly made just about every shot.
"Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems, that seems to have great validity today. Us making all these shots was significant."
ASU was paced by Rihards Kuksiks who had a career high 27 points, including 7-13 beyond the arc and also had a team-high eight assists. However, he claimed that he wasn't satisfied with his performance.
"I think I missed a lot of shots," Kuksiks said humbly. "I had some wide open looks. I think I could have scored even more points. I had wide open looks, so I wanted to score all of them."
True freshman Trent Lockett had another fine outing, finishing with 19 points on 8-9 shooting.
"He's really a talented young man," Sendek said of Lockett. "He adds values in so many ways. I couldn't be happier with him."
At the 12:16 mark of the first half, San Francisco (2-1) was already trailing 20-10, and less than five minutes later the Dons had a 20-point deficit. The hosts went down to the locker room with a commanding 58-23 lead.
San Francisco was outscored just 46-42 in the second half, as the Devils' shooting cooled off a bit, but it was obviously too little too late. Nonetheless, one highlight in what was otherwise a pedestrian twenty minutes was a one-hand alley-hoop dunk by Victor Rudd (assisted by fellow true freshman Brandon Thompson), who was ruled eligible by the NCAA clearing house less than four hours before tip-off.
"It felt good, I've been waiting a while," said the 6-7 207 Rudd who wasn't allowed to practice with the team until last week. "I knew Brandon was going to throw it to me. We talked about it on the bench. I thought Taylor was going to (intercept) it.
"It's been tough. I never really had to sit out, not be able to practice or play…I didn't feel winded. I was just too excited to get winded."
Up next for the Sun Devils is the much anticipated matchup versus Duke on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, in the NIT Tip-Off semi-final. The ever pragmatic Sendek stated that his squad won't prepare any differently for this game. "We'll watch film and try to determine what game plan makes the most sense, and then we'll go try and execute," Sendek remarked.