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Arizona State beats Texas Southern 83-71 behind Cheatham

December 2, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Zylan Cheatham turned down an open shot, drove into the lane and kicked the ball out to Luguentz Dort at the 3-point line.

Dort missed on a lob that would have given Cheatham a triple double three days earlier and heard plenty about it from his teammate. The freshman knocked the shot down this time, sending Cheatham into the record book.

Cheatham had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the second triple-double in school history, lifting Arizona State to an 83-71 win over Texas Southern Saturday night.

An assist short against Omaha on Wednesday, Cheatham joined Jordan Bachynski as the only Arizona State players with a triple double with his 10th assist in the closing minutes against Texas Southern (3-5).

“I’ve been on him all week, giving him a hard time,” Cheatham said. “It was joking, but sort of; I was mad. It’s kind of surreal.”

Arizona State (7-0) played its second straight game without Remy Martin, Rob Edwards and Mickey Mitchell. The Sun Devils made up for the trio’s absence by dominating inside to win their 20th straight nonconference game.

Arizona State got Texas Southern big man Trayvon Reed in almost instant foul trouble and took advantage, scoring 18 more points in the paint than the Tigers while grabbing 14 more rebounds.

Romello White had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Sun Devils, who are 7-0 for the second time in 38 years — both in the last two seasons.

Devocio Butler led Texas Southern with 18 points.

“We tried to do a good job of trying to keep them out of the lane, but it was difficult for us in the first half playing without the big fella,” Texas Southern coach Johnny Jones said. “We tried to keep it in striking distance, but it was difficult.”

The Tigers have played a difficult nonconference schedule, facing Baylor, No. 1 Gonzaga, Iowa State, San Diego State and Oregon — all on the road.

Texas Southern opened the season with a victory over Baylor and last week handed Oregon just its fourth nonconference home loss since Matthew Knight Arena opened in 2011.

The 7-foot-2 Reed had his way with the Ducks, scoring 23 points while making all nine of his shots on dunks.

He didn’t get much of a chance to inflict any damage on the Wells Fargo Arena rims, picking up two fouls in the opening 93 seconds.

White, who caused the two fouls, benefited the most with the big man out, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the opening seven minutes as Arizona State built a 10-point lead.

Texas Southern got back in it on the defensive end, holding Arizona State without a field goal for more than six minutes to pull within 23-22. Arizona State extended the lead to eight by halftime and didn’t let the Tigers any closer than six in the second half as Reed continued to battle foul trouble.

“We were making shots and were able to spray the ball around, make the extra pass and get into the gaps,” Jones said. “We just didn’t do enough of it.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas Southern figured to have a hard time inside against the long, athletic Sun Devils and Reed’s foul trouble put the Tigers in an even more difficult spot.

Arizona State may have a depleted roster, but depth and a big night from Cheatham carried the Sun Devils to another nonconference victory.

“Once we get a full roster, it’s going to be unbelievable,” Cheatham said.

CHERRY’S SCARE

Arizona State had a scare late in the first half, when freshman forward Taeshon Cherry went down hard and writhed on the floor in pain while grabbing his right knee. Cherry had to be helped to the locker room and wasn’t putting weight on his leg, but returned in the second half and finished with 14 points.

“He landed on it and it was more of a bruise,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “He said he was OK and it was cleared and he was moving really well in the second half.”

UP NEXT

Texas Southern plays at Georgia on Monday.

Arizona State faces No. 5 Nevada Friday in Los Angeles.

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