On Friday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0) defeated the McNeese State Cowboys (0-2) 80-52. The leading scoring for the Sun Devils was freshman guard Luguentz Dort with 25 points. He also had two rebounds and a assist.
The Sun Devils shot 47% from the field, while holding the Cowboys to 32%. Arizona State was 21-for-27 from the line, for 78%, which was 19% higher than their 59% on opening night. They made less three pointers than the 10 they made in the opener against Cal State Fullerton. ASU went 5-for-19 from beyond the arch.
Here’s how the game developed. The Cowboys jumped out to a 8-3 lead in the first six minutes, as the Sun Devils hit only one field goal and one free throw in that span. The slow start was reminisce of Tuesday’s gradual start, although the Sun Devils started to wake up.
With a little over five minutes left in the first half, Dort laid in a pretty looking layup after a euro-step to put the Sun Devils up 27-14. After the run from the Sun Devils, the Cowboys tried to bring it closer toward the end of the half. After a three pointer from senior guard James Harvey, and four consecutive free throws from Harvey and junior forward Shamarkus Kennedy, they brought it within six.
Six of the final eight points for both teams at the end of the half came from the free throw line. The two teams combined for 26 free throw attempts in the first half and the Sun Devils found themselves up 33-22.
To start the second half, McNeese State tried to make a run, instead of the shots falling and getting back into the game they found themselves down more. With 14:56 left in the half the Sun Devils went up by 16, the largest night they’d have thus far in the night.
Redshirt senior forward Zylan Cheatham got a steal with a little bit over 12 minutes left in the game, and he did what he does best throwing down a monster slam. Dort then followed it up with a flashy layup, with Wells Fargo Arena getting loud, ASU was now up 53-32.
Dort threw down a slam to make it 58-34, capping off a 13-2 run during nine-minute mark of the second half. Sophomore forward Kimani Lawrence and Dort then hit back-to-back threes to make it 67-38.
Led by a another dunk and layup by Dort, the score started to get out of hand, the lead with 4:27 left in the game was 32. The closest the Cowboys got after that was within 28.
Arizona State has another home game at the Bank in Tempe on Monday against Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Arizona Time.