#732 Arizona State University Sun Devilsvs.#731 California Polytechnic State University Mustangs
Written by Chris Kubala
NCAAB: Sunday, November 13, 2016, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Arizona, 9 pm ET
Spread: Arizona State -13.5, Over/Under: 146.5
It’s a non-conference matchup in the Valley of the Sun on the basketball court. The Cal Poly Mustangs look to even their record as the team travels to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils Sunday night. Cal Poly lost 77-68 on the road to Pepperdine in their season opener Friday night. Arizona State rolled to an 88-70 win at home over Portland State Friday night in their season opener. The Sun Devils won both previous meetings between the teams, including a 75-41 win at home on November 26, 2007.
Cal Poly struggled through a third straight losing season last year as they finished 10-20 overall. The Mustangs were just 4-12 in the Big West, finishing 8th in the conference. Cal Poly trailed by eight at the half and couldn’t manage to get over the hump. The Mustangs were limited to just 38.3 percent shooting in the contest while allowing Pepperdine to knock down 50.8 percent from the floor. Cal Poly held a 42-37 edge on the glass but turned the ball over 15 times in the contest. The Mustangs tied the game at 51 in the second half but promptly gave up a 9-0 run. Cal Poly never got back to closer than four again.
Josh Martin had a big game for Cal Poly in the loss as he put up 17 points and collected 21 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Luke Meikle contributed 17 points of his own in the game while Jaylen Shead contributed 11 points and six assists. Cal Poly knocked down 7 of 20 from three point range and went 15 of 23 at the charity stripe in the game. The Mustangs finished with just two steals and one block in the contest. Cal Poly needs more output from the rest of their rotation.
Arizona State struggled in Bobby Hurley’s first season as the head coach in Tempe. The Sun Devils were just 15-17 on the year and finished 5-13 in conference play, leaving them 11th in the Pac-12. Arizona State outscored Portland State 44-30 in the opening half and held the Vikings at bay the rest of the way. The Sun Devils knocked down 49.3 percent from the floor in the contest. Arizona State limited Portland State to 38.8 percent shooting from the field and limited the Vikings to 6 of 27 shooting from beyond the arc. The Sun Devils dominated the boards by a 47-33 margin in the contest.
Tra Holder put up 23 points in the game for the Sun Devils. Torian Graham put up 23 points of his own coming off the bench, knocking down 9 of 11 from the field and 5 of 6 from three point range. Shannon Evans II, who came to Arizona State with Hurley from Buffalo, put up 19 points in the win. Obinna Oleka was a force down low with eight points and 13 rebounds in the contest. Arizona State was 9 of 28 from beyond the arc in the game and was 13 of 18 from the charity stripe. The Sun Devils overcame 16 turnovers in the game.
The Mustangs put together a decent effort against Pepperdine but couldn’t pull things out after tying the game midway through the second half. Cal Poly needs to get production from other guys to help supplement Martin on the offensive end. Arizona State has some good pieces in their rotation and the Sun Devils are at home. Cal Poly doesn’t come up as a good enough team to get the victory. Arizona State picks up the win and goes to 2-0 on the year.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.