Arizona State Basketball (2-0) returns to the hardwood tonight after a convincing 97-70 win over the Florida A&M Rattlers.
The Sun Devils once again started with an up-tempo game leading by as much as 22-7 in the first half and never relinquished the lead.
They came out sluggish in the second half and allowed the Rattlers to claw their way back into the game trailing by only five points within the first seven minutes of the second half.
ASU then shifted into overdrive and went on a 20-4 run and finished with a 40-18 run after Florida A&M's comeback. The victory gave the Sun Devils their best start since 2009-10 when they started 4-0.
The win also notched coach Herb Sendek's 100th victory with Arizona State. Sendek is now the fourth coach in ASU history in the Century Club joining Rob Evans, Bill Frieder and legendary coach Ned Wulk, who coached for 25 seasons and compiled 406 wins.
The Sun Devils face the Cornell Big Red tonight for the first time in school history and are a combined 5-0 over the Ivy League with wins over Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn and Princeton.
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. MT
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Listen: 620-AM in the metro Phoenix area, Sirius 92/ XM 207 or ASU All Access on the web.
Tonight will be the second game of the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational, and the Sun Devils look to go 3-0 heading to their toughest non-conference games on the schedule. The day after Thanksgiving has ASU against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first round and then facing either the No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) or No. 12 Creighton Blue Jays (3-0) on Saturday.
The Sun Devils are spreading the love with five different players in double digits in the first two games of the season. If this trend continues, ASU will truly learn the benefits of team play versus singular star power.
After two games, freshman sensation Jahii Carson leads all scorers with 35 points followed by Jordan Bachynski with 31, Chris Colvin with 26, Jonathan Gilling with 24, Evan Gordon with 22 and Carrick Felix with 20.
Jordan Bachynski has cracked the career blocks record books tying Shawn Redhage and Jim Deines for the 10th spot with 76. The next best are Sam Williams and Mike Batiste who are tied with 83. I see Bachynski passing them after tonight's matchup.
Gilling leads all players with rebounds at 21 including a career-high 15 on Sunday while Bachynski has 20 and Felix has 14. Like a true point guard, the assist category is led by Jahii Carson with 12 while Colvin has eight helpers.
The new era of quick attack and keeping the pedal to the metal is already making an impact for Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils. The 97 points scored on Sunday was the third most in the Herb Sendek era. The 45 first-half points ranks as the ninth-most and the 49 points against Central Arkansas last Saturday was the fifth-most in Sendek's six year tenure.
Key Bench Players
Chris Colvin has provided a spark while allowing starters to catch a breather. The sixth man has shown a vast improvement beginning in the second half of last season and isn't looking back with double-digit scoring in the first two games while averaging just 23 minutes per game.
Backup center Ruslan Pateev has been sharp in his 15 minutes of playing time this year hitting 3-of-4 shots from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. He has also grabbed six boards in limited playing time.
Cornell (1-3) had lost two consecutive four-point games to St. Bonaventure and Saint Peter's College scoring 64 and 68 points respectively. They traveled to Madison, Wisconsin and were blown out by the Badgers 73-40.
The Sun Devils will have no problem with the Big Red if they continue their high tempo game and continue what they have been doing in the first half the past two games. Coach Sendek needs to motivate these guys at halftime as they have been slow to get started after the intermission. While this may not be a problem this evening, it will be huge next Saturday when they play Wisconsin or Creighton.
Cornell 65, Arizona State 84