ASU routs San Francisco to remain unbeaten
TEMPE, Ariz. — Redshirt freshman Romello White scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead five Arizona State players in double figures and the 20th-ranked Sun Devils beat San Francisco 75-57 on Saturday night.
Tra Holder added 15 points — despite 3-for-10 shooting — and Shannon Evans had 14 for the Sun Devils (7-0), off to their best start to a season since 1980-81, when the team had Lafayette Lever, Byron Scott and Alton Lister and finished 24-4.
Cody Justice added 12 points for Arizona State, all in the first half. ASU’s Remy Martin also scored 12.
Jordan Ratinho scored 20 for USF (4-3).
It was the first game for Arizona State, in its third season under coach Bobby Hurley, since the team vaulted into the Top 25 for the first time in nine seasons after beating Kansas State and then-No. 15 Xavier last week in the Continental Tire Invitational in Las Vegas.
USF, playing away from home for the first time this season, was out of this one in a hurry.
The Dons’ only lead was 3-0. They were down only 9-6 after Remu Raitenen’s 3-pointer with 15:02 left in the first half.
USF wouldn’t score again for the next 7:24. By then, the Sun Devils had mounted a 16-0 run capped by Justice’s layup and led 25-6 with 8:31 left in the half.
An 11-0 spurt, including two 3s by Erik Poulsen, cut the Arizona State lead to 33-21 on Frankie Ferrari’s 3 2:36 before halftime.
Arizona State outscored USF 9-4 the rest of the half, Justice’s second 3-pointer putting the Sun Devils up 40-25 at the break.
The closest the Dons got in the second half was 61-49 after Ferrari’s 3-pointer with 4:37 to play. Arizona State scored the next six with Holder’s only 3-pointer of the night boosting it to 67-49 with 3:46 left.
USF is going to struggle in the West Coast Conference if this offensive demonstration is any example.
Arizona State didn’t play a great game but thoroughly overmatched the Dons. Things get tougher for the Sun Devils in a hurry. They play St. John’s in the Staples Center on Friday night and at No. 2 Kansas on Sunday.
Hurley went with a seven-man rotation but that will expand when Ohio State transfer forward Mickey Mitchell becomes eligible in the Kansas game.
And it will go to a nine-man group when freshman forward Kamani Lawrence returns, and probably starts, from a fractured foot sometime around Christmas.
Arizona State: Plays St. John’s in Los Angeles on Friday night.
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