Arizona State outlasts Cal State Fullerton 102-94 in 2OT
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman Luguentz Dort had 28 points and nine rebounds, helping Arizona State outlast Cal State Fullerton 102-94 in double overtime Tuesday night in both teams’ season opener.
Dort was 1 for 7 from the floor in the first half, but came alive after halftime, making 8 of 15 shots. He scored on a three-point play off a putback with 2 minutes left in the second overtime to put Arizona State up 95-89.
Kimani Lawrence added 16 points and Arizona State had a 58-42 rebounding advantage, scoring 19 second-chance points off 20 offensive rebounds.
Kyle Allman had 33 points and Khalil Ahmad 31 for the Titans, who played without starting forward Jackson Rowe.
After a shaky first half, both teams started hitting shots in the second, neither able to stretch the lead.
The Titans stayed in it by getting to the rim and finishing, making 18 of 32 second-half shots. The Sun Devils did most of their damage from the 3-point line, hitting 6 of 10 in the second half.
The Titans missed a chance to win it at the end of regulation and the Sun Devils missed their shot at the end of the first overtime.
Arizona State reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago behind a trio of senior guards who turned the Sun Devils into Guard U. Tra Holder, Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans II all graduated and now Arizona State has become Big Guard U, with a bigger group of guards to go with added size and depth on the front line.
The Sun Devils’ new lineup was put to the test right away against the Titans, who have nearly everyone back from a team that reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history.
Both teams seemed to have the first-game jitters, Arizona State more than Fullerton.
The Sun Devils needed more than 4 1/2 minutes to score, missing its first nine shots before Romello White hit a jump hook.
The Titans were only marginally better and the Sun Devils put together a couple of short runs while building the lead to nine.
Fullerton rallied behind Ahmad, who had 11 points to pull the Titans within 34-31 at halftime.
Cal State Fullerton lost, but played well until the second overtime in a hostile road environment.
Arizona State’s new lineup withstood a stiff test from a good team filled with veteran players.
Cal State Fullerton hosts West Coast Baptist on Saturday.
Arizona State hosts Long Beach State on Friday.
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