The post season in college basketball is almost upon us. That means teams are trying to get momentum swinging in their direction right now. Arizona State knows that they have to have a good showing in the Pac-12 Tournament to have any shot at getting to the Big Dance.
The Sun Devils took a positive step in gaining momentum heading into the conference tournament in Las Vegas by putting away the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday night.
Behind the play of Remy Martin and Rob Edwards, who combined for 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists the Sun Devils captured an 80-62 victory.
Rob Edwards, guard for the Sun Devils, has had to deal with injuries this year that have hampered his play. However, he seems to be rounding into shape the last couple of weeks.
“He showed great patience on offense and he was very efficient. He was 6-8 and had a number of good passes, had five rebounds, and played good defense. He is rounding into form. He looks to be in a great space right now.” Head coach Bobby Hurley said after the game.
Remy Martin, point guard for the Sun Devils played really well tonight. Martin had 16 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Some of the assists that Remy had were thrown between his legs and when they hit the target, the crowd roared their approval. Martin put on show tonight with passing and when things were going well, getting the crowd into the game.
Stanford came into this game in Tempe with the mindset of winning. The Cardinal had won five out of their last six games, so they were feeling confident. Stanford hung around a bit in this game, but one of the big things that hampered their chances of taking a lead was the perimeter defense of the Sun Devils.
“I thought we put together two pretty good halves. Very good half on offense in the first half. Defense really stepped up second half, held their numbers pretty low, and we had really good balance. I couldn’t have asked for a better effort tonight.” Coach Hurley explained.
Stanford shot 10% from the three point line. The Cardinal was 2-21 from deep. Most three point shots were contested by Arizona State on Wednesday night.
There was some tension between these two teams during the game as well. Some rough and tumble type of plays, some talking between coaches, and talking between players.
Taeshon Cherry, the freshman forward, did do a little talking to the Stanford bench on a couple of shots he made. Cherry was also called for a flagrant 1 foul and then later was called for a flagrant 2 when he purposely tripped a Stanford player while on the ground. It was an easy call for the referee. Taeshon was then disqualified from the game.
“Taeshon was kind of like me as a freshman. He’s got so much spirit and emotion and raw energy, but you have to try and harness it. He’ll learn. He’ll mature, but he’s a super talented guy and we will work with him.” Coach Hurley said.
Arizona State has now won three out of their last four games with a game with California coming up on Sunday afternoon. Beating the Golden Bears will continue this momentum for the Sun Devils. Coming out of the gates strong and putting the Bears down early will help them.
Arizona State can not have a slip up against Cal like they did against Washington State. It can not happen or the Sun Devil chances of a NCAA Tournament berth may be lost as well.