ASU men's basketball defeats Idaho State in season opener

Dominant performances from ASU's backcourt and frontcourt lead the way to a win

ASU junior forward De’Quon Lake provided a much anticipated frontcourt presence for the Sun Devils during his debut, contributing 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks – the most in an ASU debut since 2003. 

“It all started off with a good week of practice, so I moved it onto the game,” Lake said. “I felt good. I felt good during the shootaround, in the locker room, so I just had a bunch of energy.”

Four players from ASU were in double figures, which anchored its 94-74 route of Idaho State on Friday night. Senior guards Shannon Evans II and Tra Holder led the way in in the backcourt, as Holder flirted with a triple-double.

Evans scored 25 points on 9-19 shooting, while Holder posted a stat line of 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assist. 

“I felt like I missed a lot of easy ones … but the guys picked up the slack,” Evans said. “So, I felt like I made better shots later on, and that got me going.”

The Sun Devils began pulling away from the Bengals in the first half behind a 17-4 run and 61.8 percent shooting from the field – ASU led 51-33. For a team that struggled last year with its frontcourt, in the first half alone ASU made 26 points in the paint and finished with 42 points in total. Lake set the tone with 13 first half points and two blocks. 

ASU also held its own on the defensive end, creating 11 first half turnovers and scored 18 points off of them. Furthermore, they held Idaho State to just 42.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three in the first half. 

The same goes for the second half, as the Sun Devils limited their opponent to just 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc the entire game. ASU head coach Bobby Hurley credited his guards intensity for the team’s defensive performance tonight. 

“I thought we did a good job in terms of turning them over in the first half … which I think is attributed to what we’ve been preaching and asking from our guards with the ball pressure so that was solid,” Hurley said. “De’Quan (Lake) also had some nice blocks. It’s good that he is thinking about protecting the rim.”

The Sun Devils shot 52.3 percent from the field, and although they were dominant from beyond the arc last year in the Pac-12, that was not the case for the Sun Devils tonight – shooting for 30 percent.

Up Next

ASU will host San Diego State on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:00, a rematch from last years matchup that the Sun Devils won 74-63 on the road. 


Reach the reporter at fcorral1@asu.edu or follow @felipecorraljr on Twitter.  

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