Sun Devils Fall to UTEP

Arizona Sports News online

Story By Jordan Spurgeon

There might not be an easy answer to fix the non-basketball issues that the Sun Devils have on the court.

ASU hoops struggled finding any consistent offense, outside of Josh Christopher, in the second half where they were outscored 43-22. The Sun Devils are now 4-2 following the 76-63 loss to UTEP.

Two straight home games have exposed weaknesses for Bobby Hurley’s squad, as they’ve struggled from three and have been obliterated in the rebound department. Tonight they shot an abysmal 1-18 from beyond the arc and were out rebounded 47-28.

“We battled well in the first half,” Hurley said. “Before we knew it, everything we gained we gave it away… The lifeless-ness that we showed in the second half was a big letdown.”

Hurley added he was disappointed with the spirit his team showed at times and will consider making some rotation changes moving forward.

Josh Christopher was the lone star, showcasing consistent effort on defense and an ability to score with a rare ability to turn a drive to the basket into a deadly mid-range jumper. He finished with 24 points, six rebounds, and two blocks. He also drew multiple charges.

“We’ve got all this talent, but we’ve just got to mesh it,” Christopher said. “We have to learn to capitalize and not let teams feel energized. We can’t give up the whole time.”

“He did more than just hit a couple shots,” Hurley said. “He was just connected to the game in all facets… We’ve got to get more guys playing to the level of intensity that he showed in this game.”

Another bright spot was Chris Osten who battled during every minute he was on the court.

“As a coach that’s all you can ask for in your players,” Hurley said about Osten. “He’s got that competitive fire.”

Hurley mentioned that he expects more out of Remy Martin, who he believes has displayed a lack of heart and long stretches of non-aggresiveness the past few games.

“We just need to be better at everything,” Christopher said about the team as a whole. “It starts with practice. Hopefully moving forward we lock back in as teammates. We’re not even 10 games in it’s not over yet.”

He mentioned ASU’s seven game winstreak last year and how excited he was watching that. He expects this team to find a groove like that soon.

The Sun Devils will host Utah on Decemeber 22.

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