Balanced Arizona State overpowers Long Beach State 90-54
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Sixty-three rebounds in a game hadn’t happened since the 2002-2003 season, until Arizona State reached that mark again on Monday night.
The Sun Devils cruised to a 90-58 victory over Long Beach State, crashing the boards and playing aggressive defense. Also, sophomore Remy Martin had 15 points and was one of six players to score in double figures.
Luguentz Dort added 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Arizona State (3-0) doubled up the 49ers in rebounds with a 63-30 edge. Kimani Lawrence’s 13 points and 12 each from Romello White and Zylan Cheatham bolstered the offense.
Arizona State logged 45 defensive rebounds.
“I thought it was probably the best defensive performance that I’ve had here as a coach,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “Really strong, especially the first half. Our rotating, our protecting the basket, I thought it was outstanding.”
The Sun Devils have won 15 straight nonconference regular season games, including all 12 from last season.
Jordan Griffin’s nine points led Long Beach State (1-2).
The Sun Devils led by as many as 22 points in the first half, going up 38-16 with seven seconds left when Dort dunked off a pass from Martin, who’d stolen the ball at the other end.
The 49ers made just 6 of 31 shot attempts in the first half and went two stretches of more than four minutes without a point.
“We looked like a team that played three games in the last four days,” 49ers coach Dan Monson said. “We were a step behind everything early, and they looked like a team possessed. They were just more aggressive than we were.”
The Sun Devils got a bit of a scare eight minutes into the game when Martin appeared to re-injure his already bothersome right ankle on a drive to the basket. Martin hurriedly limped to the bench for the under 12-minute time out but returned to shoot his free throws and stayed in the game.
“I always feel better when we win,” Martin said. “We got the win tonight and yes, it’s been tough on me, but I’m on the court so I’m really healthy.”
Arizona State was already without guard Rob Edwards on Monday. The transfer from Cleveland State missed his second straight game with a back injury.
The Sun Devils went up 27 points early in the second half, but Long Beach State went on an 8-0 run that prompted a quick timeout call from Hurley. The 49ers whittled the lead down to 15, 49-34, on the third 3-pointer of the half from Griffin.
They couldn’t get closer, and Martin bounced a pass through a crowd in the paint to Dort for a jam with 9:17 remaining for a 61-39 lead.
Long Beach State’s Demetrius Mims was ejected for a flagrant foul on Lawrence with 6:34 to play.
Long Beach State: In addition to its next game being at No. 17 Mississippi State, the 49ers have five Pac-12 opponents on its nonconference schedule, having already played No. 20 UCLA and Arizona State. Games against Oregon State, Southern California and Stanford remain, and a win over any of those teams will make it three straight seasons with a win over a Pac-12 opponent.
Arizona State: If the Sun Devils are going to come anywhere close to the 12-0 start to last season, defense figures to play a larger role than it did a year ago. The Sun Devils were active with their hands on defense Monday, forcing hurried possessions and turnovers, and their length showed they can make it tough for opponents to get good shots.
Long Beach State plays at No. 17 Mississippi State on Friday.
Arizona State plays at San Francisco on Friday.
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