Arizona State locks down Oregon for dominant 81-57 win
Jalen Graham scored 18 points, a trio of Sun Devils each pitched in 16, and the crowd at Desert Financial Arena roared Thursday night as freshman guard Bobby Hurley dribbled out the clock on an 81-57 win over Oregon.
The Sun Devils (9-15, 5-9 Pac-12) have now won back-to-back games and three of their last five. All three have come against teams either firmly in the NCAA Tournament picture or fighting for their lives on the bubble. Oregon was exactly that entering the evening. The Ducks were right on the edge and couldn’t afford any more unsightly losses with a brutal stretch of games coming up.
Instead it was the ASU squad that played with more want-to. This was a six-point game at halftime. Arizona State outscored Oregon (17-9, 10-5 Pac-12) 45-27 in the second half. The Ducks missed 10 of their final 12 shots from the field and committed nine second-half turnovers.
On the other side, ASU shot as well as it has all season.
Graham scored 14 of his points in the final 20 minutes, going 5-for-6 from the field while adding four of his nine boards and three of his five assists. As ASU has played better of late, it has been Graham’s presence as a strong two-way force that’s been hard to overlook. He was excellent again Thursday evening.
But he didn’t do it alone. DJ Horne and Kimani Lawrence each scored 12 of their 16 points in the second half as well. Lawrence shot 7-for-10 from the field.
In the first half, it was Marreon Jackson powering the Sun Devils. He scored 16 points and was red-hot from the floor, connecting on six of his seven looks and four of his five attempts from 3-point range.
For Oregon, no one was able to get going from the perimeter. The Ducks shot 5-for-26 from 3. Will Richardson was 1-for-7 from range. Jacob Young and Quincy Guerrier were both 1-for-5. Oregon had no interior presence and it proved costly. The Ducks lost the rebounding battle 40-29.
And it puts the Ducks’ tournament hopes on life support. “It was a bad, bad performance,” said head coach Dana Altman on his postgame radio show. “For a team that had a lot to play for, we really let ourselves down.”
Next up for Oregon: a date with No. 3 Arizona in Tucson on Saturday. The Ducks and Wildcats will square off at 7 p.m. PT.
Arizona State hosts Oregon State at 5 p.m. PT on Saturday.