Frankie Collins had 21 points and four assists in his Sun Devil debut as ASU secured a scrappy 62-59 victory over Tarleton State at Desert Financial Arena to open the season.
Sophomore guard Collins, who transferred from Michigan this summer, was a consistent source of offense on a night where the Sun Devils had difficulties finding quality shots. After taking only 18 three-pointers through his entire freshman year at Michigan and making just three of them Collins shot 4-11 from deep tonight.
"I didn't think I would take 11 (3-pointers)," Collins said after the game. "I knew I was going to take some, obviously, because they were going to go under (screens) because of my poor shooting last year. But I didn't think I would take 11 of them. I mean, they're sagging off. I've got to shoot it."
It took ASU nearly four minutes to score its first points, allowing Tarleton State to take an early lead it sustained through most of the game. After going down 20-9 near the eight-minute mark of the first half, ASU responded by closing the half on a 23-9 run of their own and taking a three-point lead into halftime.
ASU found itself in another hole down 57-50 with just over three minutes left in the game. Collins then either scored or assisted on ASU's next seven points, and sophomore forward Marcus Bagley gave ASU the lead with 18 seconds remaining, sealing the deal for the Sun Devils.
Bagley, playing in his first organized basketball game since Nov. 15, 2021 due to a lower leg injury that kept him out of nearly the entirety of his sophomore season, had 13 points but said it would take some time to feel completely comfortable on the floor again.
"It felt like I was in foreign territory," Bagley said. "But it was fun out there. I'm just happy we got the win. I've just got to keep being patient with myself, knowing it's a process."
After the game, he was quick to focus on the win and the team's preparation for Thursday's game, but he made sure to express that he expects stronger individual performances moving forward.
"I wish I could have hit a few more shots tonight," he said.
Bagley finished the night 4-11 from the field and 2-4 from the three.
The Sun Devils got an unexpected boost from freshman forward Duke Brennan, who hustled his way to four points and three offensive rebounds in nine minutes he earned after Nevada transfer senior forward Warren Washington, who started the night at center, got into foul trouble.
Brennan was one of seven ASU reserves who got minutes in Monday's game, including senior forward center Alonzo Gaffney who, despite starting at power forward for most of last season, closed the game at center after Washington fouled out.
In a game where the referees called 55 fouls, ASU failed to take advantage, shooting just 14-29 from the free-throw line.
The Sun Devils play again Thursday night at 7 p.m. MST against NAU at Desert Financial Arena.
Edited by Kathryn Field and Piper Hansen.