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Recap: Sun Devils Take Down Stanford on Senior Day

The Arizona State Sun Devils closed the regular season with a 65-56 win over Stanford on Saturday afternoon in Tempe.
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It was a special day for Arizona State Sun Devils basketball.

The Sun Devils were celebrating Senior Day, meaning it was the final time Kimani Lawrence and Marreon Jackson would take the floor at Desert Financial Arena. 

And boy did they both show up. Jackson poured in 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals as the Sun Devils captured a 65-56 win over Stanford on Saturday afternoon in Tempe.

Lawrence also did his part, adding six points and providing the home crowd with an electric final dunk to seal the win.

That victory pushed ASU to 14-16 (10-10 Pac-12) to close the regular season. Impressive, considering where the team was only a short time ago.

Now, heading to the Pac-12 Tournament, the Sun Devils have won seven of their last eight. Momentum is on their side, to say the least.


G Marreon Jackson
G DJ Horne
F Jalen Graham
F Kimani Lawrence
F Alonzo Gaffney

There was only one change in the typical starting five for the Sun Devils. Jackson took the place of Jay Heath as the senior was suiting up for his final home game for ASU.

First-Half Recap

The glamour of Senior Day quickly wore off in the opening minutes of action. Stanford put a jolt in Arizona State as the Cardinal went a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range to open the game. 

The hot shooting was sparked by forward Spencer Jones, who accounted for nine points on three made shots from deep. That gave the visitors a 15-10 lead heading into the first media break. 

And the immaculate shooting didn't wear off for Stanford. The Cardinal stayed in control with a 22-13 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the half.

Again, the shooting numbers popped off the box score as Stanford was nailing shots at an 80% clip. However, the team wasn't without its faults as the Cardinal already had five turnovers, which kept ASU just within arms reach. 

The Sun Devils responded with a run of their own as they closed the deficit to 24-20. Graham looked confident, dishing out a pair of assists, one of which went to Gaffney for a rim-rocking slam.

It also helped that Stanford was still struggling to play clean basketball as the team's turnovers were up to nine. 

Those would spell for trouble for the Cardinal as they surrendered a 12-2 run to ASU. Graham again made his number known as he pulled down an offensive rebound and slammed home a dunk. 

That would was followed by a Stanford turnover that turned into a breakaway layup for Jackson. More important, the basket put the Sun Devils back ahead at 28-26 with four and a half minutes left in the half.

The turnovers and poor shooting continued for Stanford, but ASU also fell into a rut in the closing minutes of the half. Both sides traded missed shots and turnovers as they combined to make only three more baskets in the half.

Head coach Bobby Hurley got a chance to talk with his team after calling a timeout with 23.8 seconds left. The Sun Devils trailed by two and had one final opportunity to tie or take the lead before the break.

Jackson came up short on his three-point shot and that left Stanford leading 32-30 at halftime. 

All in all, it was a solid half of work for Jackson, who led the team with nine points (4-for-7 on field-goal attempts). Graham also putting in work in the frontcourt with eight points and two assists.

Second-Half Recap

It took Arizona State a few minutes to get settled in the second half. This time it was Gaffney who sparked the offense. An early dunk and his first made three-point shot kept the Sun Devils even with Stanford. 

That held until Graham completed a three-point play to put ASU ahead 39-37. At that point, the Sun Devils were collectively shooting 50% from the field. Wildly, Stanford 's shooting numbers had dipped to 40% after the red-shot start to the game.

Even worse for the Cardinal was the turnover rate. The team committed its 16th turnover with just under 14 minutes left in the game. That takeaway turned into a fast-break layup for Jackson, who was up to 11 points. 

It also gave Arizona State its largest lead of the game at 43-37.

Jackson's contributions weren't limited to the offensive end as the guard continued to cause issues for Stanford. In fact, Jackson was having a career day with six steals. The last equated into another breakaway layup and put ASU ahead 51-47. 

The Cardinal responded with five quick points to take a 52-51 lead with just under six minutes left.

The next three minutes were another testament to the improvement of the ASU squad. The defense clamped down while Jackson continued to shine offensively. An impressive drive to the rim increased his game total to 17 points, while Horne added  a floater to cap a 7-0 run for the Sun Devils. 

That pushed the lead back into ASU's favor at 58-52 with 3:31 left.

And just as the buckets were falling for the Sun Devils, the turnovers continued to pile up for Stanford. The Cardinal committed their 21st turnover as Jackson capitalized with another basket. That extended the lead to nine, though Stanford cut it to six as the game hit the two-minute mark.

From that point on it was all ASU. The team's defense held firm as it allowed only one more point. Putting the exclamation mark on the victory was a monster dunk from Lawrence that made Desert Financial Arena erupt with cheers.

That proved to be the dagger as the teams let the final horn sound. The Sun Devils pulled away with a hard-fought 65-56 win on their home court.

Stat Leaders

Points: Jackson (18)
Assists: Jackson (6)
Rebounds: Jackson (6)

What's Next

That's a wrap on the regular season for ASU. The Sun Devils now head to Las Vegas to compete in the Pac-12 Tournament next week. The team will play on Wednesday, March 9 with its opponent to be decided.