UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Remy Martin punched in 26 points to lead No. 18 Arizona State hold off a very spirited Rhode Island side, 94-88 to win in the Empire Classic on Wednesday night.
Both teams battled hard during a well contested second half, but freshman Marcus Bagley made three key free throws in the final minute to help secure the win.
Martin was surpassing 20 points for the 26th time in his Arizona State career Wednesday night and they helped the Sun Devils (1-0) to avoid what could have been an upset. He also added six rebounds and five assists in a balanced outing.
Bagley, who went 10 of 14 from the charity line stepped up with 16 points to go with his seven rebounds, while Taeshon Cherry, Josh Christopher and Holland Woods added 11 apiece as the Sun Devils counted on its offense to win the game.
“It was surreal at first,” Bagley said of his first college game. “I’ve dreamed about playing for Arizona State and to finally be out there with ASU across my chest felt amazing.”
With the two teams trading blows late in the contest, Chris Osten, who finished with just four points, delivered an important three-point play with 2:59 remaining to give Arizona State lead for good at 89-86.
Osten finished with the four points, five rebounds and three blocks for the Sun Devils.
“Chris, overall, was huge tonight,” Arizona State coach Bob Hurley said. “He doesn’t miss practice, works his (butt) off every day. Karma is good to people like that.”
Antawn Walker, a transfer from Georgetown transfer, paced Rhode Island with 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Jeremy Sheppard added 19 points, Fatts Russell had 12 points and seven assists, while D.J. Johnson ended with 10 points and seven boards for the Rams (0-1)
The game featured 81 combined free throws, 55 fouls and two technicals.
Meanwhile, Arizona State will now play the winner second semi-final between No. 3 Villanova and Boston College in the championship game of the Empire Classic’s on Thursday night.
Rhode Island will play the loser of Wednesday night’s matchup.