Balanced Sun Devils use big outburst to beat Ducks 78-64
“He’s an elite shot-blocker,” Cheatham said, “so I wasn’t going to be on the other side of SportsCenter. It was pretty much him or me when I got him in the air and I won this battle.”
It was, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said, a “statement-type” play in the 78-64 Sun Devils victory.
Five Arizona State players scored in double figures, led by 17 from Cheatham and 15 for Taeshon Cherry, who made 5 of 10 3-pointers.
Payton Pritchard scored 20 and Louis King 16 for the cold-shooting Ducks, who split a pair in the desert after winning at Arizona on Thursday night.
The Sun Devils (13-5, 4-2 Pac-12) completed a home sweep of the Oregon schools and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Ducks (11-7, 2-3).
“Our guys played hard, we just didn’t play very smart,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. ” Poor execution at times, it’s just that we tried to run things out of timeouts, we didn’t execute at all. Disappointed there. We got to get better offensively. We can’t shoot the ball 33 percent; we’re going to have to shoot it better. We had some good looks.
“VJ (Victor Bailey Jr.) had some good looks, he just couldn’t get one down tonight and Paul (White), first-half, was outstanding. (He) tweaked that ankle a little-bit, I probably stayed with him a little too long, knowing that ankle was not sharp.”
The Ducks shot just 33 percent (21 of 63), 26 percent in the second half (9 of 35). Arizona State shot 51 percent overall.
Bailey was 0-for-9 shooting, including four 3s. White scored 12 but none in the second half.
After Pritchard banked in a 3 at the buzzer to make it 39-39 at the half, Oregon led most of the first 12 minutes of the second half, but never by much. King bounced in a 3-pointer to put the Ducks up 54-50 but Cherry and Kimani Lawrence each made 3s for the Sun Devils and Arizona State led 56-54 with 8:12 remaining.
The Sun Devils were off and running from there. While Oregon clanked one shot off the rim after another, Remy Martin scored four consecutive points and Cheatham capped the run his big dunk. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw and the three-point play that made it 69-54 with 4:32 to play.
“We shut them down on possessions. We turned them over at times,” Hurley said. “The crowd was amazing. They really got into the game and helped our defense. When you have Z (Cheatham) dunk on Wooten like that and have Lu (Dort) go in there and climb the ladder and wait for Wooten to go hit the ground and he still puts it in, those are big momentum plays, statement-type plays.”
Cheatham said the decisive outburst “kind of shows what we’re capable of as a team when we buckle down and focus on the next play and make the right play continuously.”
Luguentz Dort scored 12, Martin 11 and Lawrence 10 for the balanced Sun Devils.
A desert sweep would have been nice for the Ducks as they try to climb back in the Pac-12, especially with a home game against conference leader Washington looming. But Oregon was off offensively all night and it eventually caught up to them at loud Wells Fargo Arenas.
Arizona State needed these two victories to get above .500 in conference play, and finally get the Oregon nemesis off their back. The Sun Devils have the talent to make noise down the stretch and show that they can be the contender many thought they would be after they knocked off Mississippi State and Kansas in the pre-conference season.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
There was a moment of silence before the game in memory of Jermaine Marshall, who played for Arizona State in the 2013-14 season, part of a team that made the NCAA tournament. Marshall had his biggest moments in Tempe in a home upset of Arizona.
Marshall was found dead in his apartment in France. Authorities have offered no details. Marshall was 28.
Oregon: hosts Pac-12 leader Washington on Thursday night.
Arizona State: begins its Los Angeles trip with a game at UCLA Thursday night.