By Jordan Parry, ASU Media Relations Student Intern
While most people take to bed at the time, maybe a late 9:00 p.m. start was exactly what the Arizona State men’s basketball team needed to wake up after a road trip to forget. After coming off back-to-back road losses, ASU’s woes faded into the past thanks to a commanding 76-64 victory over Stanford Wednesday night from Wells Fargo Arena.
With the victory the Sun Devils improve to 20-8 (9-6 in the Pac-12) and move into a tie for third in the Pac-12. Head Coach Herb Sendek now has his fifth 20-win season leading the reigns of ASU basketball. Stanford falls to 18-9 (9-6 in the Pac-12) with the loss.
Jahii Carson finished the first half with only three points, but came out in the second half and proved why he should be considered the top player on the court. Carson went for 23 second-half points on 7-7 shooting from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line. He finished the game with 26 points on 8-11 shooting (2-3 from three), four assists and only one turnover.
Carson’s 26 points are the most he has ever scored at home, breaking his previous high of 23. His previous seven high-scoring performances all came on the road.
While Carson paced the Devils through the final 20 minutes, it was Jermaine Marshall who gave them life throughout the first half. Marshall scored 14 points in the first half on 5-8 shooting, and also got the job done defensively, taking two charges underneath Stanford’s basket. He finished the game with 16 points on 6-12 shooting (2-6 from three), two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Arizona State took a 39-29 lead into the locker room at halftime, and it is now 16-2 on the season when taking a lead into the break. The only two losses came to Miami and Stanford in the two teams’ first matchup.
ASU began the game shooting 7-11 from three which left Stanford in a hole which it could never climb out of. The Sun Devils shot 53.8 percent (14-26) in the first half while holding the Cardinals to 41.7 percent (10-24).
Possibly the strangest but most telling stat of the night comes in the assist category, as the Devils out-assisted Stanford 18-4 by game’s end. After the first half the Cardinals only logged one assist to ASU’s 11, telling of the impressive ball movement leading to open shots on offense for a team who had struggled mightily its past two contests on the road.
Arizona State next faces Cal for Senior Day from Wells Fargo Arena. The game is slated for a 4:00 p.m. MT tip.