Sam Houston State, out to solve shooting woes, visits ASU

Sam Houston State, out to solve shooting woes, visits ASU

Arizona State, which bounced back from being routed by BYU on Thanksgiving to defeat Vanderbilt the following day in the Vegas Showdown, returns home to face Sam Houston on Wednesday in Tempe, Ariz.

Arizona State, which bounced back from being routed by BYU on Thanksgiving to defeat Vanderbilt the following day in the Vegas Showdown, returns home to face Sam Houston on Wednesday in Tempe, Ariz.

Alonzo Gaffney scored 19 points and Jose Perez added 15 for Arizona State in the third-place game at Las Vegas.

The Sun Devils (3-2) shot 51.8 percent (29 of 56) from the field, including 45.5 percent (10 of 22) from 3-point range, against the Commodores. Arizona also went 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) from the free-throw line.

That performance followed Arizona State’s 77-49 loss to BYU, a game in which the Sun Devils made 33.3 percent (19 of 57) of their shots from the field and 10 percent (2 of 20) of their attempts from beyond the arc. They were 9 of 18 from the free-throw line.

“There are different ways to motivate,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “I avoided really going into a lot of detail. We said what we needed to say after the (BYU) game to try to motivate (for the Vanderbilt game).

“We needed to turn the page to focus on this opponent. So there was no time to really dwell on it any more than that.”

Sam Houston State (4-3) is on a three-game winning streak that has featured victories over Troy, Grambling and Paul Quinn College, an NAIA school in Dallas.

Davon Barnes had 19 points and six rebounds on Saturday in the host Bearkats’ 78-61 win over Paul Quinn. Damon Nicholas Jr. added 11 points and Lamar Wilkerson finished with 10.

Sam Houston struggled from the field, shooting 37.1 percent (26 of 70). The Bearkats went 10-for-34 (29.4 percent) from 3-point range.

“It showed we are still a team in building, our execution, focus and all the things that really matter to being a championship team,” Bearkats coach Chris Mudge said of his team’s shooting performance. “We had great growth over the first six games of the year. We have to be able to take that no matter who our opponent is.

“We didn’t have our toughness and intensity. We need to be able to do that every night. Every win should be celebrated, but there is a lot we need to learn from.”