(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
After their rough Rocky Mountain road trip against Utah and Colorado, the Arizona State Sun Devils bounced back in a major way putting together a complete performance, knocking off Stanford 74-64. Junior forward Savon Goodman scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Dorian Pickens was the high-point man for Stanford with 19.
ASU started the game 1-of-4 from the floor, all of which were three-point attempts. The lone make was by sophomore guard Kodi Justice, and it would be the only basket scored by the first media timeout at the 15:50 mark.
Both teams combined to make four of their first 15 attempts from the floor, and three of those makes were from three-point territory. Following a 9-0 run from Stanford during which ASU was 1-11 shooting, Stanford led 11-6 with 10:53 remaining in the first half.
The score would soon be knotted up at 13 following a transition jumper from ASU senior forward Willie Atwood for his first bucket of the night. Two straight buckets for ASU matched its total field goal count for its first 11 shots of the game.
ASU would continue its hot streak and make three more in as many possessions. With 6:29 left in the opening period, the Sun Devils led 22-18.
Junior forward Obi Oleka made the Sun Devils’ sixth three of the half with 2:36 remaining to put ASU up 30-21. It was the sixth three in its 12 attempts from beyond the arc, compared to its 4-of-12 shooting from inside the three-point arc at this point.
Despite the rarity that was two-point field goals in the first half, junior forward Savon Goodman picked on up on a nice reverse from an offensive rebound. The following possession, Goodman threw down a thunderous alley-oop dunk on the fast break off the feed from senior guard Gerry Blakes.
ASU led 37-22 at halftime, closing out the half making 5-of-7 shots. Seven of the eight Sun Devils who played scored, and Goodman led all Sun Devils with nine points. Stanford made only nine field goals and had 10 turnovers in the first half.
Coming out of halftime ASU made four of its first five shots and extended its lead to 17 at the first media timeout leading 47-30. Senior center Eric Jacobsen became the first Sun Devil in double digits converting on an old-fashioned three-point play.
The lead reached 21 with 12:33 remaining in the game following a layup for Oleka set up by a no-look pass from Holder. ASU’s bigs were a huge part in pulling away in the second half, with Oleka, Goodman, and Jacobsen combining for 13 of the Sun Devils’ first 20 points of the second half.
Not much changed up to the 7:53 mark, with ASU still leading by 16 and Stanford showing no signs of life. The Sun Devils coasted the rest of regulation despite Stanford bringing it back to within single-digits, and put together one of their best performances of conference play.
Players of the Game: Savon Goodman & Eric Jacobsen
Goodman and Jacobsen provided a spark that we hadn’t seen from the big men all season long as a unit. With the first half being mostly about the three-point shooting, the tandem came out in the second half dominating on the inside and combining to finish with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Biggest Concern: N/A
ASU dominated just about every facet of the game, on and off paper. If this is the ASU that shows up against Cal, both teams could be in for a great game.
Unsung Hero: Tra Holder
Although it wasn’t Holder’s best night statistically, he recognized the hot hands down low and kept feeding the big men the ball. While Stanford was in zone for most of the night, he could’ve easily worked the ball around and found himself an open three, but instead kept going to what was working in the paint.
Stat of the Night: Fifteen offensive rebounds
ASU dominated the glass all night long, and the major differential was due to their work on the offensive side. The Sun Devils finished with 15 offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points.
ASU will take on Cal in their regular season finale March 5 in Tempe.