A 36-11 run in the Sun Devils’ favor in the remaining eight minutes of the game sealed the deal after UMBC pulled within eleven points with 10 minutes to go.
Jermaine Marshall -- who wasn’t at 100 percent tonight coming off of a stint of valley fever -- finished with 19 points, four steals and really set the tone with hustle plays early on despite the illness.
“I had a little jitters coming off of valley fever and I’m just trying to get my legs back underneath me but it was great,” Marshall said. “I got to play with Jahii for the first time in a game and everybody else. So I felt good and I just think we just have to keep getting better and moving forward.”
Marshall mentioned that he’s not quite where he wants to be physically, and he lost 15 pounds with the illness. He said his breathing ability was suspect at times throughout the night, but he’s confident going forward that it will get better.
Reigning co-Pac-12 freshman of the year Jahii Carson picked up where he left off a season ago, matching Marshall’s 19 points, and notched five assists in the process.
“I think we played very well, everybody got in and contributed,” Carson said. “The bigs played excellent and rebounded the ball. I think we need to run a little bit more but that comes with us playing with each other more and getting a feel for how each other likes to play. I think we have a lot of work to do but I’m definitely impressed with how everybody played tonight.”
Senior center Jordan Bachynski started of slow but ended up with a career high 15 rebounds and yet another double double with 12 points.
Aside from a few hiccups here and there – which are to be expected considering a roster with eight new players and two starters to replace – the Sun Devils meshed well on the court. Carson, Marshall and Shaq McKissic were fluid on the court together, driving and dishing when needed.
“It was great, guys aren’t selfish out here and it’s not tough to try and get guys to buy into the system,” Carson said. “I think the chemistry has definitely been good with me and Jermaine and Shaq is coming along. I definitely think the chemistry is going to build overall throughout the season.”
Head coach Herb Sendek played nine different guys in the first eight minutes of the first half, and 12 total on the night. He mentioned that he hasn’t quite found the right rotation of players that he’s comfortable with, as no one has really stood head and shoulders above anyone else in practice.
“There’s been a lot of flip-flopping,” Sendek said. “But I thought with what some of those guys did at the end of the game was really encouraging. I think we are going to play perhaps more guys than we have in the past, it may not always be for huge blocks of time. Early in the game, we quickly substituted around media timeouts.”
Over the offseason, new foul rules were implemented around the NCAA and that really showed in Friday’s contest, with 51 total fouls called. Arizona State shot a total of 44 free throws on the night.
“Obviously there’s going to be some adjusting,” Sendek Said. “It definitely extends the time of the game and players and coaches we are all going to have to adjust. I think that we got a little bit of a sense tonight that the game is being called pretty close.”
Arizona State will take on Miami of Ohio in their next game coming up on Tuesday; tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.
“We just have to stay hungry and humble…we have Miami of Ohio here Tuesday so we have to erase this game and look forward to that next game,” Sendek said.