No. 3 ASU men's basketball cruises by Longwood, 95-61, to remain undefeated

The Sun Devils used 49 bench points and a lineup change at the half to run away from the Lancers

A slow start, once again, did not prevent No. 3 ASU (11-0) from winning as the Sun Devils pulled away from Longwood, 95-61, in its non-conference home finale on Tuesday night. 

Although only leading by five at the end of the first half, ASU used a 16-1 run to gain momentum and give them a 54-35 lead at the 13:33 mark in the second half. The crowd got on its feet after a Kodi Justice steal, who finished with 18 points, led to a Mickey Mitchell reverse dunk on the breakaway. 

The home team never looked back.

“The defensive mindset picked up more (in the second half),” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. “We struggled through not doing what we’ve done a lot this year in terms of making shots and a lot of them were open. I think we are fortunate we played that first half, taking nothing away from Longwood, if we had done it in some other games, there might have been a different result. So we have to clean that up.”

Hurley took the blame for the poor start but said his team needs to pick it up due to the strength of schedule coming up, specifically conference play.

Coming off their biggest home crowd of the season on Sunday, the Sun Devils relied on a second half surge to beat the Lancers (3-9), outscoring them 60-31. The 60 second half points were the most by ASU in the past 15 seasons. 

 Two of ASU's top-three scorers had mediocre performances – Shannon Evans II and Romello White combined for 14 points – and ASU looked to its bench to provide a spark.

Mitchell contributed 12 points and five rebounds off the bench, De’Quon Lake added another 16 points and nine rebounds, while Remy Martin  posted 13 points, seven rebounds and nine assist for the Sun Devils.

After starting the game on the bench, however, Mitchell found its way into the starting lineup at the start of the second half – something Hurley said he earned.

“I didn’t really think about it, if I am on the court, I am on the court,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter when I get in or how I get in, how many we are down how many we are up, I’m going to give you the same effort.” 

Tra Holder led all players with 20 points, while adding five rebounds and six assist to his stat line. 

Longwood’s B.K. Ashe established consistency in the first half, scoring 12 points and looked destined to have an impactful game. ASU, however, held him to just two points the rest of the game. 

The Lancers managed to make two more field goals than the Sun Devils, were out-rebounding them and shot a better percentage from the field at the end of the first half, yet ASU still led 35-30. 

They started the game off in a 3-2 zone defense, and though it worked in the first half, Hurley eventually made the adjustments and ASU ran away from the Lancers. 

"We wanted to at halftime talk about getting into gaps more, not just passing the ball around, to dribble and draw help and kick out and not to forget about the backline,” Hurley said. “I think we incorporated getting the ball to Romello [White] and also Lake on the lobs in the second half and didn’t solely rely on the three-point shot."


Up Next

No. 3 ASU vs. Pacific, Pac-12 Network 

Friday, Dec. 22

1 p.m. MST


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

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