ASU men’s basketball (11-7, 2-3 Pac-12) shot 69% in the second half to fight past Utah (10-7, 1-4) 83-64 for its second conference win of the season on Saturday night.
Redshirt senior guard Rob Edwards led the way for the Sun Devils, sinking six of seven shot attempts, including five 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 24 points.
Martin spoke on the team effort that brought the win, saying, "Everybody contributed today and it was a great win."
A defensive battle ensued in the first half as both teams struggled to put together consistent possessions.
The Sun Devils connected on five of their first nine shots to start the game, but stumbled down the stretch, finishing the first half shooting 12-32 from the field.
ASU created a strong defensive presence of its own in the half, forcing nine Utah turnovers and holding the Utes to just 29% shooting, including 10% from three-point range.
Edwards, making his first start since Jan. 4, came out strong, scoring 11 points and knocking down three 3-pointers in the first half.
“[My teammates] uplift me - and [Martin] stays with me,” Edwards said. “For me, I just get in the gym and try to go as much as I can to keep it locked in.”
The Sun Devils played tight defense on Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen, who came into the contest leading the Pac-12 in scoring with 19.9 points per game. Allen finished the first half just 25% from the field.
ASU began the second half connecting on four of its first five attempts from the field to help create a quick 14 point advantage.
The team then kept its foot on the pedal, sinking 18 of 26 shots in the second half, including 80% on 3-pointers. ASU also connected on each of its last seven shot attempts to close out the victory.
“We defended very well in the first half until we had a breakthrough on the offensive end,” said head coach Bobby Hurley. “It was good basketball. I was very pleased with how we played tonight.”
The team will have a week off before it returns Jan. 25 to face UA in the second game of the 2020 Territorial Cup series at 7:30 p.m. MST.