ASU men's basketball wins 75-57 against San Francisco

The Sun Devils improve to 7-0 for the first time since the 1980-81 season

After scoring more than 90 points in its first six games, No. 20 ASU could not continue its offensive juggernaut and instead showcased defensive versatility in its 75-57 win over San Francisco Saturday night. 

The team starts the season 7-0 for the first time since the 1980-81 season. 

The Sun Devils (7-0) held USF (3-3) to 28.6 shooting from the field and 27.5 shooting from long distance. They forced 14 turnovers and converted it into 22 points.

Redshirt freshman forward Romello White continues to prove how much ASU had been missing a true low-post presence, posting yet another double-double Saturday night. He finished the game with 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

ASU began its hot start in the first half, using a 16-0 run to get the lead, 40-25, at the end of the first half. Although ASU has been recognized for its offensive display to start the season, head coach Bobby Hurley gave credit to his team's defense.  

"Our defense, as much as everyone is talking about our offense to start the season, I was very pleased with the energy we defended with," Hurley said. "Especially in the first half, to jump out to the lead we were able to get ... to have them chase us the rest of the game – you just feel pretty good about that. 

The Sun Devils held their opponent to just 28.1 percent shooting from the field and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. White also had an impact defensively with a thunderous chase down block off the glass in the first 10 minutes of game. 

ASU also held its own in the paint, allowing only eight points while it scored 26 of its 40 first-half points by attacking the rim. White, whose low-post presence has been felt for ASU so far, finished the half with eight points and eight rebounds while the Sun Devils shot over 50 percent from the field. 

Despite being in control of the lead the entire game, ASU failed to find an offensive rhythm in the second half. By the 7:45 mark, the Sun Devils were only shooting 27 percent from the field and only made one shot from beyond the arc. 

"I felt like they saw what we were doing, (and) they switched up their defense kind of," said White. "But, I mean, we just have to make the adjustment next time."

Senior guard Tra Holder, who had scored 40 points against a nationally ranked Xavier, cooled down and was held to 15 points on  3-for-10 shooting (8-for-8 from free throw line). 

After a poor shooting display in the first half by USF, the Dons repeated that performance in the second half, shooting 29 percent from the field. 

USF had a chance to close in on the Sun Devils late in the game after junior guard Frankie Ferrari made a three to bring his team within 11 with 4:17 to play. Holder, responded on the other end with a three of his own and helped extend ASU’s lead to 16. 

Sophomore guard Jordan Ratinho was the only spotlight for the visiting team, leading all scorers with 20 points. 


Up Next

The Sun Devils travel to Los Angeles to square off against St. John's. 

"Our guards are going to get tested," Hurley said. "They're an up-and-coming team in the Big East (Conference). They've played pretty well early in the season and won pretty impressively today so we expect a big game."

The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. MST.


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

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