After falling behind 11-0 against UCLA in the opening minutes, ASU basketball found themselves in dire need of a spark on the offensive end.
The Sun Devils received just that as Remy Martin’s play combined with a stingy defense led ASU to its 14th win on the season and fifth in conference play as they defeated UCLA, 84-73.
Martin led the team back from the early deficit with a career-high 11 assists, including eight in the first half, to go along 15 points in the crucial conference victory.
The combination of Martin’s play and an early mixing of defenses set ASU up for success as coach Bobby Hurley fought to maintain the Sun Devils’ pace after the slow start.
Every defense from the full-court press to a zone defense was thrown at the Bruins in an attempt to slow their offensive pace after the hot start to the game.
The slew of defenses worked against UCLA as the Sun Devils were able to progressively inch closer throughout the first half, including taking their first lead after an 8-0 run put ASU ahead 28-27 over midway through the first half.
Back-and-forth scoring kept the game close for both teams as UCLA maintained a 44-43 lead at the break, despite being outscored 43-33 after the early 11-0 run to begin the game.
The second half was one dominated by the Sun Devils in large part due to the team’s defense, as they limited the Bruins to 29 second-half points on 32.3 percent shooting en route to the double-digit victory.
Forward Zylan Cheatham and guard Luguentz Dort were a key part of both the defensive and offensive success in the second half of play. Cheatham finished with a career high in rebounds at 20 to go along with nine points and five assists while Dort finished with a team-high 16 points.
The victory was not easily handed to ASU as the game involved 19 total lead changes with the score being tied a total of 10 times throughout the game.
Freshman Taeshon Cherry was hurt after being hit with an elbow during the first half of the game. Cherry didn’t return in the second half after logging five points and three rebounds during his five minutes of play in the first half.
The win at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion holds significance for the Sun Devils as it was the team’s first win at the arena since Jan. 17, 2009. With the victory, the Maroon and Gold sit second in the Pac-12 standings with a 5-2 conference record.
Next up, ASU will continue their Los Angeles road trip as they look to pick up their first road sweep in the Hurley era as they face USC, who defeated Arizona tonight, 80-57.