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ASU men's basketball blitzkriegs UNLV

The Sun Devils tied a program record with 18 3-pointers in the win

ASU junior guard Shannon Evans II (11) high-fives senior guard Torian Graham (4) after a play in the first half of a men's basketball game against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. ASU won 97-73, putting them at 5-3 on the season.
ASU junior guard Shannon Evans II (11) high-fives senior guard Torian Graham (4) after a play in the first half of a men's basketball game against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. ASU won 97-73, putting them at 5-3 on the season.

The run-and-gun ASU men's basketball team's modus operandi so far this season has relied on one constant: 3-point shooting.

When the Sun Devils have been on, they've won. And when they haven't, they haven't.

Saturday ASU was on, tying a school record with 18 made 3-pointers in a 97-73 win over UNLV at Wells Fargo Arena. Three Sun Devils — senior guard Torian Graham and junior guards Tra Holder and Shannon Evans — scored over 20 points in the win.

"Wells Fargo has been good to us so far," Hurley said. "So it was nice."

Following a demoralizing 46-point loss to Kentucky in the Bahamas a week ago, head coach Bobby Hurley said he had concerns about his team's mental state, but was confident the Sun Devils would respond to the adversity.

"You wonder about the psyche of the team, the confidence of the team, after something like that," Hurley said. "But we practiced real hard, guys got a lot of pride and no one wanted that type of result."

There would be no redux, as ASU embarked on a 20-2 run early via six 3-pointers and took a commanding double digit lead just over six minutes into the game.

The Sun Devils kept their mojo from the outside going, as 13 of their 17 made shots came from the outside — something that Hurley wasn't too surprised by — and held a 51-32 lead going into the locker rooms.

"I knew that we could potentially have these types of shooting games," Hurley said. "We made the extra pass tonight, which was nice."

In the second half, the 3-point well dried considerably, as ASU made just five of 14 shots from beyond the arc. But ASU got inside the paint and established itself down low, resulting in 10 of 16 from inside the arc and 15 trips to the free throw line.

Overall, Evans — who led all scorers with 28 points in the win — was happy with his team's play, especially sandwiched between games against top 25 teams, as the Sun Devils face No. 15 Purdue in New York City Tuesday.

"I think we did great tonight," Evans said. "We played real unselfish. Everybody was moving the ball, everybody was playing exciting. I felt like tonight was inspiring basketball and we've got to keep it going."


Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow @Tonis_The_Tiger on Twitter.

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