(Photo: Tyler Rittenhouse/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to continue winning in the early stages of the season as they welcome the San Diego State Aztecs (1-0) to Tempe on Tuesday night.
Arizona State opened up their season with a 94-74 win over the Idaho State Bengals on Friday. De’Quon Lake, a junior transfer from Iowa Western Community College, impressed in his Sun Devil debut. The 6-foot-10 power forward posted 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, one of which sailed into the stands.
“I like the intimidation factor that gives to your defense,” ASU coach BobbyHurley said after Friday’s victory. “When guards think twice about going in there if you got a guy that’s a presence that way. He can do that.”
Coming off a 50-point performance in an exhibition game, senior guard Shannon Evans dropped a team-high 25 points. The team will look to Evans to continue pouring in points. Coming into a season with some hype, fans were encouraged by a 20-point win.
San Diego State started their season with a 39-point victory over the San Diego Christian Hawks. The Aztecs were led by senior guard Malik Pope, who scored 20 points in just 18 minutes of play.
The Aztecs return six players from last years team, who finished 28-10. SDSU lost in the semifinals of the NIT tournament to George Washington, who ultimately went on to win the tournament.
The two teams squared off in San Diego last season, with the Sun Devils coming out on top 74-63. The Devils fought through adversity, overcoming multiple double-digit deficits in the first half before outscoring the Aztecs by 18 in the second half to walk away with the victory. Shannon Evans and Tra Holder led ASU, scoring 16 and 17 points respectively.
Both teams are coming off terrible three-point shooting performances. The Devils shot 30 percent from three in their win, where the Aztecs shot 22 percent from beyond the arc in theirs. Rarely will you win games with numbers as low as those, so both teams are going to need to step it up if they want to move to 2-0.
Arizona State leads the all-time series 17-10, with the last meeting in Tempe nearly eight years ago. The two teams will tip-off from the Wells Fargo Arena at 7 p.m.