The Sun Devils swept through the Continental Tire Invitational after a 102-86 win against No. 15 Xavier. Arizona State proved that even with the new presence in the frontcourt, the backcourt is experienced, energetic and ready to put up points.
Taking down San Diego State, Kansas State and now, Xavier, the Sun Devils are on a hot streak, improving their record 6-0.
With Evans II and Justice combining for 38 points, five assists, five rebounds and going for 50 percent from the three-point line, the perimeter seems to remain steadfast in taking on the primary scoring load for the Sun Devils.
In addition to Evans II and Justice, Holder continues to be the obvious leader for the Sun Devils. Recording 40 points, four rebounds, four assists and going 5-of-8 from the perimeter, Holder’s role as the captain of this team has been vital for their success.
But with De’Quan Lake and Romello White combining for 11 points and 13 rebounds, the front court presence was an important part in supporting the backcourt. White and Lake’s efficiency at the four and five positions have been essential for the Sun Devils, giving the guards a chance to distribute the ball low in the post and even make plays under the basket themselves.
It was the Sun Devils work on defense that pulled them away from the Musketeers, recording nine steals and 22 points off of 13 turnovers.
Similar to their win against Kansas State, not only was ASU able to capitalize on the Musketeers’ errors offensively, their ability to draw fouls and their performance at the line also had heavy contribution to their 100-point game, something head coach Bobby Hurley had set to improve on entering the tournament.
With their non-conference slate only getting more challenging, as they set to face Vanderbilt and No. 3 Kansas, it will depend on whether the Sun Devils can keep up this early set momentum to make it through to conference play still unscathed. The Sun Devils return to Wells Fargo Arena to face San Francisco on December 2.