by Connor Smith, Sun Devil Athletics Communications Intern
Senior Shaquielle McKissic came off the bench to score 19 points in just 19 minutes as four Sun Devils scored in double figures to lead the Sun Devil men's basketball team past Grambling, 97-55, in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday afternoon.
POSTGAME QUICK NOTES HERE...
The Sun Devils got off to a slow start leading just 34-28 with eight minutes left in the first half but from that point on it was all Arizona State as they closed the half on an 18-0 run. The Sun Devils clamped down defensively holding Grambling to just 11-of-32 (.344) shooting in the first half.
The Tigers were led by Guard A’Torri Shine’s 16 points and Antwan Scott’s 15 points but it wasn’t enough as Grambling only shot 19-of-62 (.306) from the floor..
Both teams got off to a hot start shooting with Grambling hitting 11 of their first 21 shots while Arizona State hit 15 of their first 21 shots. Grambling would go on to miss their next 11 shots, not scoring in the final eight of the first half. The Sun Devils shot a torrid .645 (20-of-31) in the first half while on their way to scoring a season-high 52 first-half points.
The offense in the first half was led by Jermaine Marshall and Jahii Carson as they combined for 26 points. Jordan Bachynski grabbed 14 rebounds in the first half which he said made his coaches happy.
“That’s one thing that my coaches have been telling me my whole career, is that I have to rebound. I believed them, but didn’t know what it took. Just being aggressive and fighting for something is huge, and I have got a lot more to fight for this year.”
The Sun Devils continued to extend their lead in the second half despite most starters sitting on the bench. Shaquielle Mckissic hit three consecutive three point shots to make the score 71-33 and the Sun Devils never looked back much to Coach Herb Sendek’s delight.
“Shaq has really strung together a couple of outstanding games. DePaul he had a double-double, and today where he did it with his shooting, he made his free throws and obviously he was perfect behind the arc.”
Jahii Carson finished with 14 points, six assists and five rebounds in just 25 minutes while Jermaine Marshall chipped in with 16 points in only 17 minutes. Jordan Bachynski had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his eight double-double of the year.
The ASU bench led by McKissic outscored the Grambling bench 52-6.
Coach Sendek has noticed a change in McKissic’s play.
“Shaq is an incredibly hard worker I think he has an unassuming heart, he has a grateful heart, he knows he has to jam pack a whole career into one year. So when you only have one year, and you’ve travelled the path he has to get here, every day is important to him, every game is the Super Bowl, every practice matters, and he is always in the gym on his own, and he just is trying to jam pack a whole career into one season.”
Arizona State owned the paint much of the game, outscoring Grambling 57-10 in in the paint. They also out-rebounded the much smaller Tigers team 44-30.
The Sun Devils scored a season high 97 points and shot a season high .635 (40-of-63) from the field. The 97 points is tied for fourth most points in a game for ASU under Herb Sendek.
Walk-on Jarett Upchurch from nearby Scottsdale, Ariz. had his first career points today after coming off the bench in the final few minutes.
Next the Sun Devils (9-2) will host the Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-3) Saturday, December 21 at 4:30 p.m.