ASU men's basketball shines defensively in 90-58 rout of Long Beach State

The Sun Devils impress in statement victory over Long Beach State

ASU men's basketball was the better team from start to finish on Monday night, soundly defeating the Long Beach State 49ers 90-58 to improve to 3-0 on the season. 

Sophomore guard Remy Martin led the team in scoring with 15 points to go along with his team-high five assists. Freshman guard Luguentz Dort continued his early season dominance, notching his first double-double as a Sun Devil with 12 points and 12 rebounds. 

“I thought this was the best defensive performance that I’ve had here as a coach,” head coach Bobby Hurley said. “I thought it was really strong in the first half between the overall activity of our defense, our rotating, our protecting the basket, I thought it was fantastic.”  

The Sun Devils defensive outing was by far their most impressive of the season, holding the 49ers to 27.4 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent shooting from behind the arc. ASU trailed for a mere 43 seconds the entire game, and their lead in the second half never fell below 15. 

“Defense is a feeling,” Martin said. “That’s a big thing that we’ve now developed is we trust each other. Our rotations, closing out with high hands, it’s just repetition. The the more we do it, the more we feel better, the more we communicate with each other and hold each other accountable, the better our defense will be.”

Dort's defense was once again superb, as his ability to limit penetration played a huge part in the 49ers'  shooting performance. Through three games, his defense has been otherworldly, and Dort’s ability to mesh with a variety of different players has been instrumental for an ASU team lacking a concrete “best” lineup.

“He is a competitor,” Hurley said. “Of course he’ll have a lot of games like he had the first two, but he just keep playing and kept competing with 12 rebounds and very good defense."

Not only was the ASU defense stingy defending the shot, but their domination on the boards was downright embarrassing. The Sun Devils doubled Long Beach State in total rebounds, 63 to 30 and had four players who tallied over seven rebounds compared to the 49ers' zero. 

“I felt like we were stronger, bigger and more athletic than them,” redshirt sophomore forward Romello White said. “Coach told us early to attack them in the paint, and I feel like we did that. We practice that every day, we try and go hard in the paint, and we did that.”  

The big man platoon of White and senior forward De’Quon Lake paid dividends for Hurley as the pair compiled a combined total of 22 points on 8-11 shooting and 16 boards. 

An impressive performance from buzzer to buzzer, ASU showed a defensive toughness and versatility that hasn’t been present in past seasons. The team’s ability to lock down opponents clearly brings Hurley, a defensive stalwart in his own respect, a special type of joy.

“I’ve been hoping we could get to the point where we could play defense like this,” Hurley said. “It’s always been a part of what I think factors into winning is being able to play both ends of the floor to the best level you can. I’ve been feeling great about our defense in the preseason and it looked strong tonight.”

ASU travels to San Francisco to take on the USF Dons this Friday before heading to Las Vegas next week to participate in their first tournament of the season in the Main Event Basketball Tournament from Nov. 19 to 21. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @jacobrosenfarb on Twitter. 

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