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ASU Men’s Basketball: The Sun Devils combat their lack of size by catching fire from deep

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(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)

Coming off of a blowout loss on the road to number-one ranked Kentucky, the Arizona State Sun Devils bounced back with a commanding 97-73 victory at home over UNLV.

After being stifled offensively by Kentucky, ASU (5-3) exploded against the Rebels. The Sun Devils were unconscious from behind the three-point line, hitting 50 percent of their threes for a total of 18 threes on the game. They hit 49.2 percent of their total shots from the field as well.

Long-range shooting was by far ASU’s weapon of choice as 18 of their 32 made-shots came from behind the arc. The Sun Devils almost doubled their average of 9.7 threes made per game, and six different ASU players hit at least one three-pointer.

It seemed like none of ASU’s starters could be stopped. Junior guard Shannon Evans II led the way for the Sun Devils, scoring a team-high 28 points on nine of 12 shooting, with four assists and five rebounds. Senior guard Torian Graham had another impressive performance, nailing six three-pointers as a part of his 22-point performance on the night.

Obinna Oleka was the only disappointment defensively for ASU, as he was the only starter not to score at least 14 points with just eight points on the night, as he was caught up in early foul trouble. However, he did tie for the team lead in rebounds with seven.

The Sun Devils barely managed to outrebound UNLV, with a slim 38 to 37 rebounding margin. Rebounding has been an issue for a small ASU team this season, but on a night where the team just couldn’t miss, ASU was able to get away with their lack of height.

UNLV (5-3) on the opposite end, struggled to hit shots all night. The Rebels went just 38.9 percent from the field and only sunk six threes out of 22 attempts. Sophomore guard Jalen Poyser was a bright spot, leading UNLV with 20 points and four assists.

ASU did commit 27 personal fouls, allowing UNLV to take 36 foul shots. ASU has usually been pretty good about limiting fouls, only committing 18 fouls per game so far this season up until this matchup.

The Sun Devils have been a far better home team this season. ASU is now undefeated at home (4-0) but far worse on the road and at natural sites (1-3).

They will look to change that poor trend on the road as the take on 15-ranked Purdue in the Jimmy V Classic, on December 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Tip off for the game is 5 p.m. MT.

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