Sun Devils out­last Cal State Fuller­ton in 2OT

Fresh­man Dort scores record 28 in opener

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS -

TEMPE — Luguentz Dort was ner­vous in his first col­le­giate game and it showed. Shots clanged off the rim, so did free throws, he got sped up.

Once Dort shook off those early-game jit­ters, he shot him­self into Ari­zona State’s record book.

Dort had 28 points to set

ASU: 1-0 over­all CSF: 0-1 over­all

a fresh­man open­ing-game school record and grabbed nine re­bounds, help­ing Ari­zona State out­last Cal State Fuller­ton 102-94 in dou­ble over­time Tues­day night in both teams’ sea­son opener.

Dort was 1 for 7 from the floor in the first half, but came alive af­ter half­time, mak­ing 8 of 15 shots. He scored on a three-point play off a put­back with 2 min­utes left in the sec­ond over­time to put Ari­zona State up 95-89 and played well de­fen­sively most of the night.

“I was a lit­tle ner­vous and I talked to coach Hur­ley and the other coaches, and they told me to calm down, the game would come to me,” Dort said. “The sec­ond half, ev­ery­thing was good for me.”

Play­ing its first game with a new lineup, Ari­zona State got off to a slow start, traded bas­kets with Fuller­ton in the sec­ond half and made big plays in the over­time pe­ri­ods to open Bobby Hur­ley’s fourth sea­son with a win.

Ki­mani Lawrence added 16 points and had a key re­bound in over­time for the Sun Devils.

“I thought it was great the way we bat­tled,” Hur­ley said. “We faced a lot of ad­ver­sity, have a lot of things to clean up and get bet­ter at. But I’m proud of the way the guys bat­tled to stay in the fight and get into a vic­tory.

Ari­zona State did most of its dam­age on the glass. The Sun Devils had 16 more re­bounds and scored 19 sec­ond-chance points off 20 of­fen­sive boards, help­ing off­set a 26-for-44 night at the free-throw line.

Kyle All­man had 35 points and Khalil Ah­mad 31 for the Ti­tans, who played with­out start­ing for­ward Jack­son Rowe.

“Our guys com­peted. I was proud that they com­peted,” said Fuller­ton coach Dedrique Tay­lor, a for­mer Ari­zona State as­sis-

tant. “We set the stan­dard, so now it’s can we main­tain that mov­ing for­ward, that is the big­gest thing for us.”

Ari­zona State reached the NCAA Tour­na­ment a year ago be­hind a trio of se­nior guards who turned the Sun Devils into Guard U. Tra Holder, Kodi Jus­tice and Shan­non Evans II all grad­u­ated and now Ari­zona State has be­come Big Guard U, with a big­ger group of guards to go with added size and depth on the front line.

The Sun Devils’ new lineup was put to the test right away against the Ti­tans, who have nearly ev­ery­one back from a team that reached the NCAA Tourna-

ment for the third time in pro­gram his­tory.

Both teams seemed to have the first-game jit­ters, Ari­zona State more than Fuller­ton.

The Sun Devils needed more than 4 1/2 min­utes to score, miss­ing their first nine shots be­fore Romello White hit a jump hook.

The Ti­tans were only marginally bet­ter and the Sun Devils put to­gether a cou­ple of short runs while build­ing the lead to nine.

Fuller­ton ral­lied be­hind Ah­mad, who had 11 points to pull the Ti­tans within 3431 at half­time.

“It’s col­lege bas­ket­ball,” Tay­lor said. “You’re go­ing to have first-game jit­ters.”

BIG PIC­TURE

Cal State Fuller­ton lost, but played well un­til the sec­ond over­time in a hos­tile road en­vi­ron­ment.

Ari­zona State’s new lineup with­stood a stiff test from a good team filled with vet­eran play­ers.

KEY RE­BOUND

Lawrence had ar­guably the game’s big­gest re­bound with 1:45 sec­onds left in the first over­time. With the Sun Devils trail­ing by four, Lawrence swooped in to grab Dort’s missed free throws and was fouled. Lawrence hit his two free throws to give Ari­zona State an op­por­tu­nity to tie it.

“We prac­ticed that this week,” Lawrence said. “It’s a lit­tle play we’ve got to get the of­fen­sive board we draw up. It worked ev­ery time in prac­tice and I had con­fi­dence it would work in the game.”

UP NEXT

Ari­zona State hosts Long Beach State on Fri­day.

Ari­zona St. 102 Cal St. Fuller­ton 94 (2OT)

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