(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State took the loss to Marquette, 78-71, and remain winless on the road this season. Junior guard Gerry Blakes scored 20 points for ASU and JaJuan Johnson scored 22 points for the Golden Eagles.
The game started out sloppy for both teams, but ASU was especially cold, making just one of their first seven shots and turning the ball over six times which led to a quick 10-4 deficit.
A large part of ASU’s early offensive struggles was due to the interior presence of Marquette center Luke Fischer, making his first appearance of the season. He contested just about every attempt under the rim and put the Sun Devils into tough situations when attacking the rim. Fischer finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Marquette held a 43-32 lead at halftime, holding ASU to 37 percent shooting from the floor and forcing 10 turnovers. The Golden Eagles shot 59 percent in the first half, and 22 of their 43 points came off of the bench. Sophomore forward Savon Goodman made his ASU debut, entering with about 13 minutes remaining in the first half, and he finished with seven points in his debut, and showed off his athleticism with a two-handed dunk over Fischer drawing the foul as well. However, he eventually fouled out toward the end of the game.
The second half was a lot of the same to start off for both sides: Marquette forced a plethora of turnovers, and ASU was not able to find points. Marquette jumped out to extend their lead to 21, and ASU was showing no signs of life until an 11- 4 run late in the second half jumpstarted by senior forward Shaquielle McKissic’s three-pointer, and he would finish with eight points.
The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, had no trouble finding scoring options thanks to their only two bench players Fischer and Johnson combining for 41 points.
The Sun Devils seemed to begin finding their groove late in the game, but it was a case of too little too late and the search for a win away from Wells Fargo Arena continues.
Player of the game: Gerry Blakes
Blakes was one of the only players who kept up the aggression all game long despite Fischer’s breakout performance defending the basket. He remained the team’s leading scorer, which he has proven to be at this point in the year.
Stat of the night: 12 Offensive rebounds
There weren’t a lot of bright spots for ASU in this game, but the offensive glass was one. Goodman’s presence will likely add to the frontcourt depth, and as Jacobsen and Atwood continue to find their grooves, what was once a question for ASU may soon become a strength.
Biggest Concern: Turnovers and Free-Throws
Just when we were beginning to see ASU get over their turnover problem, its weakness from early in the season has proven to still be an issue. Marquette plays up-tempo like a lot of Pac-12 teams on the defensive end, and ASU won’t do well come conference play if they turn the ball over 16 times like the did tonight.
ASU plays Lehigh December 20 at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils will look to extend their home-winning streak to 15 games.