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Stout defense helps ASU takes down Colorado 72-51

(Photo courtesy: Scotty Bara/WCSN)

What started off as an appallingly sloppy game turned into a strong 72-51 win for Arizona State over Colorado Saturday afternoon in Tempe courtesy of balanced offensive production across the stat sheet.

The difference between the ranked Buffaloes team that was led by Spencer Dinwiddie and the current squad that played in Wells Fargo Arena Saturday is relatively apparent.

Colorado was averaging about 78 points per game with Dinwiddie, compared to the 62 points coming into their matchup against ASU.

The offensive production in Dinwiddie’s absence has come from forward Josh Scott who was averaging 16 points per game with the junior guard sidelined. Scott was held at bay for the majority of the first half, but he rattled in six straight points coming out of halftime.

At that moment, Jordan Bachynsnki was subbed out for Eric Jacobsen whose big body seemed to help negate the burst Scott had gained from the halftime rest. Scott went on to finish with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Jacobsen gave the Sun Devils more solid minutes in his starting spot Saturday.

“He’s (Jacobsen) is a big body down there just in general, he takes up a lot of space in the post and he’s aggressive,” Jahii Carson said.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore registered six points and six rebounds in the game.

As the second half continued to develop Jermaine Marshall caught fire briefly as he rattled in eight points in the second half’s first six minutes.

After Marshall cooled off, Jon Gilling sunk two three-pointers of his own to break open an ASU lead that was already bursting at the seams.

ASU went on to cruise through the rest of the second half, much of which can be attributed to Carson’s play. The 18 points, four assists, and six rebounds took their toll, but his second half control of the floor was what really pushed ASU to victory.

The Sun Devils turned the ball over five times in the second half after 11 in the first 20 minutes

“We were just going a little too fast,” Carson said. “Guys that were coming off the bench were anxious to get in there and make a contribution.”

The first half of play between the two teams was discombobulated to say the least. ASU and Colorado combined for 23 total first half turnovers. The bulk of ASU’s 11 turnovers were from lazy passes at the top of the perimeter that were deflected and taken the other way by Colorado guards. The Buffaloes turned the ball over numerous times because of traveling violations.

Carson explained that the realization of how much Colorado was benefiting off those turnovers in transition is what shook them out of their turnover funk.

When ASU didn’t turn the ball over in the first half, they scored. The Sun Devils’ efficient 52 percent shooting from the field and Colorado’s 42 percent were a big factor in ASU’s 34-23 halftime lead.

Games against a Colorado team missing Dinwiddie are matches that ASU should and must win. The Sun Devils took care of business against the Buffaloes and will look to continue this virtuous in-conference play again in their next matchup against University of California Wednesday night.

You can reach this reporter via email or on twitter @CammeronNeely

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