McKissic leads Arizona St. over Chicago St. 86-50
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Shaquielle McKissic scored a career-high 20 points to lead Arizona State to an 86-50 win over Chicago State in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Sun Devils were in complete control in the second half, taking a 17-point lead on a layup and free throw from McKissic with 16:38 to play and an 18-point lead on a 3-pointer from Jonathan Gilling with 13:55 to go.
McKissic reached 20 points on a layup at the 13-minute mark, giving Arizona State a 58-37 lead. He made 7 of 9 shots and watched much of the second half from the bench.
Gerry Blakes, Roosevelt Scott and Willie Atwood each added 11 points for the Sun Devils. Clarke Rosenberg, a senior guard whose 14 points per game led Chicago State returnees last season, paced the Cougars with 20 points.
The Sun Devils' lead reached 38 in the second half, though Chicago State trailed 40-28 at halftime.
McKissic, a 6-foot-4 senior whose 9 points per game average from last season is the top returning mark for Arizona State, keyed a 15-2 run over five minutes of the first half that was the decisive stretch of the game. He hit a pair of 3-pointers and went in for a baseline driving dunk, then Blakes' three in transition at the 7:02 mark gave ASU a 29-15 lead.
The Sun Devils led by as many as 15 points in the first half after a basket and free throw from post player Connor MacDougall.
The game saw ASU serve as one of four first-round hosts of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Sun Devils will in the championship semifinals Nov. 24 against Maryland in Kansas City, and either the championship game or consolation final the following day.
Arizona State: The NCAA on Friday announced the selection of the greater Phoenix area as host of the 2017 Men's Final Four, to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in nearby Glendale. ASU will serve as host institution of the annual event.. Guard Tra Holder became the 23rd freshman to start a season opener for the Sun Devils since the 1972-73 season. Other notable opening-night freshman starters for ASU were former Los Angeles Lakers player (now head coach) Byron Scott and Houston Rockets star James Harden.
Chicago State: Two players fouled out for the Cougars, guards Joshua Meier and Trayvon Palmer. No other Cougar players scored in double figures besides Rosenberg . Chicago State is in its second season in the Western Athletic Conference, in which it went 8-8 last season though the Cougars' overall record was 13-19.
Arizona State hosts Bethune-Cookman on Monday.
Chicago State visits Creighton on Sunday.