(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Mountain West Conference must be tired of seeing Arizona State shoot the basketball.
A week after tying a program record with 18 made 3-pointers against the UNLV Rebels, the Sun Devils used a barrage from behind the arc in the second half to defeat San Diego State on the road 74-63.
The Sun Devils bounced back from a woeful 15% from 3-point range in a 97-64 blowout loss to Purdue at the Jimmy V Classic in New York. After a slow start to the game, ASU came out hot in the second half and buried the Aztecs by shooting 50% from beyond the arc.
Tra Holder led Arizona State with 17 points, followed by Shannon Evans II with 16, and Torian Graham and Obinna Oleka with 15 apiece. Oleka also pulled down 12 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season.
While the win is a step in the right direction for Arizona State, some sloppy play continues to hurt the team, as the Devils committed 18 turnovers, leading to 20 Aztec points.
This marks the third straight loss for San Diego State after road losses to Loyola (IL) and Grand Canyon University (AZ), and their NCAA tournament resume continues to take hits. The Aztecs have no more significant non-conference games and now must rely on the conference portion of their schedule to make it back to the Big Dance.
This game marks the end of a lengthy season-opening road trip for the Sun Devils. The nonconference schedule took them to Orlando, the Bahamas, New York City, and to San Diego today. ASU will not hit the road again until its first conference game December 30th against Stanford.
Winning their first road game of the year is a confidence boost for the Sun Devils, as winning on the road was something that ASU could not do during conference play last year, leading to a 5-13 finish in the Pac-12.
The Devils will be off until next Saturday, when they look to reverse their recent trend of alternating wins and losses when they host the New Mexico State Aggies. ASU has not won or lost consecutive games since winning its first two games of the season against Portland State and Cal Poly.