ASU men's basketball earns 90-49 victory in 2019-20 home opener

Defense, strong offensive guard play led ASU to its first win of the season

Defense was on full display Thursday night as the ASU men’s basketball team defeated Central Connecticut State 90-49 in its 2019-20 home opener at Desert Financial Arena.

The Sun Devils held the visiting Blue Devils to under 30% shooting.

“We held them down,” head coach Bobby Hurley said. “There hasn’t been a ton of games since I’ve been here where we held a team under 50 points.”

The Sun Devils looked locked in defensively all night, forcing 23 Blue Devil turnovers.

They also recorded five blocks and 14 steals, four of which came from freshman guard Jaelen House.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid,” said House, who also added 14 points, four rebounds and five assists. “I’m used to playing hard on defense.”

Redshirt senior guard Rob Edwards led all scorers with 23 points. He was lights out from deep in the first half, sinking five 3-pointers on seven attempts.

“One big factor is that (teammates) found me while I was open,” Edwards said. “That makes it so much easier for me to catch and shoot, relax and not have to get out of the dribble.”

Now in his second season in Tempe, Edwards is primed to become a top-tier scoring option for the Sun Devils.

“I’m proud of (Edwards) and happy for him,” Hurley said. “He worked extremely hard in the offseason … He feels great, he’s moving great, he looks terrific.”

Junior guards Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge, Jr. looked to distribute the ball early Thursday as they combined for half of the team’s 14 first-half assists. Martin also finished with 14 points and Verge, Jr. chipped in with 10.

It was a noteworthy home start for the Sun Devils, who looked to find a solid rhythm back in the states following a weeklong trip to China.

“I feel like we’ve adjusted, and we’re back into the flow of things,” Edwards said. “We are where we need to be.”

The team is now 1-1 on the season and will have a few days to rest before taking on the Rider Broncs Sunday Nov. 17 at 4:00 p.m. MST in Tempe.

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