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Game Recap: Arizona State Bullies Buffaloes in Convincing Road Win

Arizona State went on the road to Colorado and got back on track with a convincing win over the Buffaloes.

The question with the Arizona State Sun Devils is not a matter of if they are talented enough to do damage in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament, but rather how consistent the team can be in a win-or-go-home setting.

After dropping Monday night's contest at UCLA, Arizona State looked to bounce back in a major way in their second of three road tests this week with the Colorado Buffaloes playing host. 

The Sun Devils found their groove on both ends of the floor, flattening the Buffaloes in 82-65 fashion.

Here's how the action panned out in Arizona State's fourth win in five games:

First-Half Recap


G DJ Horne
G Jay Heath
F Jalen Graham
F Kimani Lawrence
F Alonzo Gaffney

Colorado managed the opening minutes of the game, although an and-1 from guard Marreon Jackson tied the game at 8-8 after the first media timeout. Both Arizona State and Colorado had two turnovers in the opening moments of the game. 

Graham successfully tipped the ball in to give the Sun Devils their first lead of the game, 14-12. 

The Buffaloes' best player, forward Jabari Walker, was forced to sit early in the first half after getting in foul trouble. He played only nine minutes in the half.

After Walker's departure, the Sun Devils firmly put their hands on the game. Consecutive three-pointers from Jackson and forward Jamiya Neal before a Jackson steal and layup on the following possession saw Arizona State climb to a 22-16 lead. 

ASU three of its first shots from downtown, with Jackson leading the way by scoring 10 points and adding three steals. 

It was a first half that consisted of quick, up and down basketball that saw Arizona State carry a 37-26 lead into the break. Colorado made only one of their 10 attempts from three-point land, and also turned the ball over 10 times.

The most vital stat for ASU? Rebounds. The Buffaloes bullied Arizona State on the glass in their first meeting, yet the Sun Devils managed to hold the advantage over CU with 17 rebounds to their 14. 

Colorado didn't score a field goal in the final 5:37 of the half. 

Second-Half Recap

At the first media timeout, Arizona State had its advantage increase after four minutes of play, holding a 45-31 lead. 

The Sun Devils had back-to-back steals shortly after the timeout, forcing Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle to resort to his bench. 

Defense was the name of the game for ASU, a point of emphasis that was executed well from the opening tip thanks to physical presence in the paint and active hands in passing lanes.

Guard Luther Muhammad hit an and-1 right before the under-12 media timeout to push Arizona State's lead to 55-36. 

ASU went on a stretch where seven straight shots fell, increasing the lead to 69-46 and forcing another Colorado timeout. 

The Buffaloes were able to trim Arizona State's lead to 20 points with a three from forward Evan Battey, yet it would be too late for Colorado to claw their way back into the game. The Sun Devils had a 74-56 lead at the final media timeout. 

Arizona State ran the clock out despite efforts from the Buffaloes to press and send ASU to the foul line. 

Arizona State finished the game shooting an amazing 49.2% from the field, including an impressive 52.9% from downtown. 

The Sun Devils finished plus-11 in rebounds, a heavy point of emphasis after their previous meeting. 

Stat Leaders
Points: Heath (18)
Rebounds: Jackson/Graham/Gaffney (5)
Assists: Jackson (4)

What's Next

Arizona State travels to Utah to battle the Utes for the last of three road games this week on Saturday, Feb. 26.