Everything looked easy for the Arizona State Sun Devils on offense. Bobby Hurley has mentioned that his talented roster hadn’t become a talented team yet. No. 18 Arizona State (2-1) certainly looked like a team with that offensive prowess though in its 100-77 win against Houston Baptist (0-2) on Sunday.
Early on in the first half the Sun Devils only led by three. In the span of seven minutes, everything turned. Arizona State went on a 31-5 run that kickstarted a historic first half. The Sun Devils’ 65 first-half points was the best output since the 1997-98 season.
“Thought it was a pretty solid, dominant effort for 24 minutes. We had complete control of the game,” Hurley said. “I thought it was a pretty good outcome and effort for us coming off of a road trip.”
Five different ASU players scored in double-digits. Freshman forward Marcus Bagley had a game-high 21 points on nine shots. Remy Martin (16), Josh Christopher (17), Kimani Lawrence (13) and Jaelen House (13) were the others in double-figures.
Martin and Christopher are expected to score in their roles but the performances from Lawrence and House brought a smile to Hurley’s face.
Lawrence made his season debut and looked good coming off a knee injury. House went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc while bringing his defensive duties with four steals. The pair helped replace Alonzo Verge’s offensive production after he missed Sunday’s game.
Hurley stated that Verge was day-to-day and his absence wasn’t due to injury or disciplinary actions.
Nonetheless, House stepped up. Hurley attributed a solid practice to his efforts.
“Jaelen had a good attitude in practice yesterday and it carried over to the floor today,” Hurley said.
Lawrence was excited to see the floor again as well.
“I felt really confident in the work I put in...I wasn’t really thinking about (my knee) too much while I was out there,” Lawrence said. “I was trying to stay sharp and stay behind because I knew I would be playing.”
The other promising stat for Arizona State was its 21 assists as a team. In ASU’s previous two games combined, they only had 17 assists. For the first time in awhile, the Sun Devils have plenty of players who can create their own shot.
However, through the first two games, that might have hampered them more than helped. In crucial situations it’ll pay dividends, but despite the quality of Sunday’s opponent, the ball movement showed its power as well.
Hurley hopes that his team can carry this offensive momentum into its first conference game next week. The Sun Devils will travel to Cal on Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. MT tip.