Head coach Bobby Hurley said what everyone was thinking after they watched Kimani Lawrence’s performance on Thursday.
“He was everywhere, he was all over the court,” Hurley said.
The senior forward left his mark across the board in Arizona State’s (9-11, 6-8 Pac-12) 80-72 win over Washington (5-19, 4-15). Lawrence became to first Sun Devil to achieve 20 points and 20 rebounds since Mike Batiste in 1997. In the final 58 seconds, Arizona State closed out the game on a 8-0 run. Lawrence had four points, three rebounds and a steal in that period.
“From our standpoint, I think it goes without saying who the star was tonight. Kimani Lawrence, just unbelievable work rebounding and scoring it,” Hurley said. “Making his free throws, clutch free throws, put us up four (points with 42 seconds left) and just outstanding game. He was everywhere, he was all over the court. So really proud of him, the way he’s performed when we’ve had all these guys out. And he’s really taken his game to a different place and it’s been very exciting and rewarding as a coach to watch him play at that level.”
Lawrence stepped up once again as Arizona State continued to be down to seven scholarship players. As a veteran who has dealt with injuries through the years he’s making the most of each opportunity and is far from giving up on this season.
“We’re not giving up on our season,” Lawrence said. “I know we’re shorthanded, but there’s a lot of basketball to be played and there’s still a chance for us to play in the postseason, and that’s the goal. So we’re just going to take it one game at a time, get some momentum going into the (Pac-12) Tournament. And everyone’s on the same level right now.”
Remy Martin came out firing as well. He scored his team’s seven points on his way to his seventh career 30-plus outing. Behind Martin’s 31 and Lawrence’s 21, Alonzo Verge Jr. added 13 points of his own and even more importantly dished out seven assists again. His ability to share the ball and create for others has been nearly as important as his free throws to help ice the game.
“Zo had a few layups I’m sure he would’ve thought he should’ve converted in the game. But again, he made big free throws and you touched on the passing,” Hurley said. “I thought he had a couple really good passes in the first half. They were blitzing ball screens some and he was able to get around the corner and find his teammates. So he did a nice job.”
Arizona State still has a lot more games over the next week and half. Similar to this series against Washington, the Sun Devils will host Washington State for a pair of games on Feb. 27 (7:00 p.m. MT) and Mar. 1 (1:00 p.m. MT) .