San Diego State falls to Sun Devils, 74-63
Dec. 10, 2016
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Trey Kell scored 20 points for San Diego State, who twice led by 10 points in the first half before ultimately falling to Arizona State, 74-63, on Saturday night.
Tra Holder scored 17 points and Shannon Evans II had 16, including a 3-pointer that started a 13-3 run at the start of the second half, to lead Arizona State.
Obinna Oleka had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Torian Graham scored 15 for the Sun Devils (6-4), who didn't get their first lead until three minutes into the second half.
Sun Devils Head Coach Bobby Hurley was happy with pretty much everything except 13 turnovers in the first half.
''Hopefully this was a turning point for us,'' Hurley said. ''Hopefully we found something we need to move forward with the rest of the year.''
San Deigo State lost their third straight game, and fell to 4-4 on the year.
Trailing 32-25 at halftime, the Sun Devils opened the second half with 3-pointers by Evans, Holder and Kodi Justice that pulled ASU into a 34-34 tie. The Sun Devils continued the run with a layup by Holder and a putback by Jethro Tshisumpa for a 38-35 lead.
SDSU tied it on Max Hoetzel's 3-pointer before Evans answered with another shot from behind the arc.
The Sun Devils stayed hot from behind the 3-point line, with Evans and Torian Graham hitting long shots for a 53-41 lead.
Evans said the first practice after the Purdue loss was ''real tough. We did a lot of running. I don't know if we shot the ball at all but we did do a lot of running. It felt like we were a track team at one point.''
With ASU on break, the players knew practices could be rougher if they didn't step up against SDSU.
''We know there's no time limit when you're on break so we have that in the back of our mind like, `Man, if we don't listen, we're going to be in for a long one.' Preaching that mentality, play for each other and play hard, we came out on top.''
San Diego State twice led by 10 points in the first half, the second time at 32-22 after Hoetzel hit a 3-pointer with just more than a minute left before halftime. Evans hit a 3-pointer for ASU on the next possession.
''This is not what I'm used to, this is not what Trey is used to, this is not what our program is used to,'' SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. ''We've had a program that's played with toughness and pride and success. And we're still capable of doing that, but you have to do it for 40 minutes. You have to do it together. You can't let one end dictate the other.
''We're going have to, all of us, circle the wagons, self-analyze, try to help one another, not fragment, fight together, and get one win that will give you a good taste when you leave the locker room and give you a chance to get two wins,'' Fisher said.
Arizona State hosts New Mexico next Saturday night.
San Diego State hosts Alabama State on Monday night.