TEMPE, Ariz. — No. 24 San Diego State picked up an 80-68 victory over No. 23 Arizona State in its college basketball matchup on Thursday night.
The Aztecs (5-0), who dominated the inside battle, after they bullied Arizona State 36-9 in the paint and had 17 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds, stayed undefeated from five starts so far this season.
Jordan Schakel scored 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting and made five of his nine 3-point attempts, while grabbing six rebounds and two to lead San Diego State.
“It was probably our closest to a complete game,” said Schakel. “We still have a long way to go, but it was nice to put that kind of game together this early in the season.”
Nathan Mensah added a double-double with 17 points (7-for-12) and 15 rebounds, as well as blocking three shots, with Matt Mitchell finishing with 14 points, five rebounds. He shot just 1-for-7 from the floor, but made 12-of-15 from the free-throw line.
Scoring guard Alonzo Verge Jr. returned to the lineup to lead Sun Devils (3-2) with 25 points, including seven 3-pointers to go with five rebounds and four assists. Verge Jr. missed two games due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Josh Christopher ended with 13 points and five rebounds, but shot just 2-for-8 from the field, while Jalen Graham added 10 points and four rebounds for Arizona State, which played without forward Marcus Bagley because of a lower left leg injury he picked up on Saturday against California.
“Do we really care about how hard we’ve got to play? Do we know how hard we’ve got to play to beat a team like that?” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “There were a lot of examples of that tonight.”
San Diego State had 14 assists on 27 made baskets and outrebounded the Sun Devils 44-37.
Arizona State shot 34.5% overall, while the game got away from them after missing 11 straight shots during a key stretch in the second half.
In fact, the Sun Devils were on a scoring drought for about eight minutes and San Diego State used the moment to extend its lead to 59-45, taking advantage of a series of mistakes.
“It was a combination of poor shot selection, careless turnovers, bad transition defense after mistakes,” Hurley said. “We were still up two, 43-41, with 15 minutes left with all the things that I witnessed and we found a way to do worse than that, which is scary.”
It was a slow night for Remy Martin, as the Arizona State point guard struggled to get going on the night. The senior preseason AP All-American didn’t take his first shot until the 5:14 mark of the first half and finished with nine points on 2-of-8 shooting with five rebounds and three assists.
Martin is averaging 15.6 points and shooting 51.0% from the field this season.
“He had a little bit of a blank look on him, wasn’t having that fire, that energy I’m used to seeing from Remy,” Hurley said. “Overall, he’s got to play better in these games, games like this where he’s had a history of playing well.”
San Diego State will play host to BYU on Dec. 18, while Arizona State returns to action against Grand Canyon in Phoenix on Sunday.