Trans­fer Cheatham leads ASU to a rout

The Arizona Republic - - Auto Racing - Michelle Gard­ner PA­TRICK BREEN/THE REPUB­LIC ARI­ZONA ST. 80, MCNEESE ST. 52 FG FT Reb Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Hines 25 0-0 1-6 0-1 3 4 1 Robin­son 30 3-8 3-6 0-5 0 3 9 Har­vey 32 2-9 2-2 1-1 0 1 8 Hunt 25 4-11 5-5 1-2 3 4 15 Touchet 23 2-6 0-0 0-4 0 3 5 R

Se­nior for­ward Zy­lan Cheatham ad­mit­ted to be­ing a bit ner­vous in his ASU de­but ear­lier this week. The Phoenix na­tive had a solid game in his first out­ing since com­ing home but fouled out in reg­u­la­tion.

He felt much more com­fort­able in his sec­ond try and it showed. He tal­lied 16 points, 12 re­bounds and six as­sists in lead­ing the Sun Devils past vis­it­ing McNeese State 80-52 in non-con­fer­ence play on Fri­day at Wells Fargo Arena.

Cheatham, who red­shirted last year after trans­fer­ring from San Diego State, man­aged nine of his 16 points in the sec­ond half as the Sun Devils (2-0) fi­nally sep­a­rated them­selves from the Cowboys (0-2). He had a dunk that made it 35-25 then added a pair of free throws the next trip down the floor for an 11point ad­van­tage.

But the play that brought the crowd to its feet came with 12:15 left. He swiped the ball from a McNeese State player at mid­court, then raced the other way and put down a wind­mill dunk that ex­tended the lead to 53-32.

McNeese State was not dis­tance again.

Cheatham had to come out of the game briefly after pick­ing up his third foul with 11:04 left and the Sun Devils up 55-34, but re­turned three min­utes later with the Sun Devils still up com­fort­ably 61-38.

Much like they did in Tues­day’s sea­son opener, the Sun Devils got off to a slow start. The Cowboys, who lost their sea­son opener ear­lier this week at St. Mary’s, jumped out to a 7-3 lead as ASU man­aged to hit just one of its first six shots and one of its first three free throws.

The Sun Devils ral­lied back, tak­ing their first lead at 9-8 on a bucket by De’Quon Lake. That lead would grow to 12 points twice in the half, the first com­ing when Cheatham con­nected on a pair of free throws to make it 25-13 with 7:02 left be­fore half­time.

The sec­ond 12-point ad­van­tage came with 44 sec­onds left in the half on a 3point play by Luguentz Dort that made it 33-21.

McNeese State got an­other bucket and had the chance to cut the deficit to eight in the clos­ing sec­onds of the half but Dort raced up from be­hind and blocked a shot by McNeese State’s in strik­ing Myles Hutchin­son on a fast break just as the half ended.

Dort, who had 28 points in his ASU de­but on Tues­day, was equally im­pres­sive in his sec­ond game. He reg­is­tered a team-high 25 points, shoot­ing 10 of 18 from the field.

Nine play­ers fac­tored into the scor­ing as Hur­ley was able to pull his starters early with the out­come in hand. Ki­mani Lawrence added 16 points and six re­bounds as the Sun Devils shot 46 per­cent (27 for 59) from the field. ASU also hit 21 of 27 tries from the line, an area in which they were de­fi­cient in Tues­day’s win.

ASU’s Luguentz Dort (0) shoots vs. McNeese State on Fri­day at Wells Fargo Arena.

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