Bill Walton couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Was this Allen Fieldhouse? One of the toughest places to play in the country? Was it emptying, with time on the clock? It was. Such is the effect of Arizona State basketball this season. The Sun Devils were at it again on Sunday afternoon, stunning No. 2 Kansas on the road, 95-85, keeping their undefeated season in tact, making a case to be labeled the No. 1 team, or at least top 10, in the country after the previous No. 1, Duke, fell to Boston College on Saturday.
“I never thought I would see this. The KU fans walking out.”
— Josh Kelman (@JoshKelman) December 10, 2017
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the upset was the massive hole the Sun Devils dug for themselves at the outset. Kansas leaped out to a 15-2 lead, far too many of which came on easy dunks. Allowing runs had been Arizona State’s Achille’s heel up that point in the year, suffering similar lapses in wins over Xavier and St. John’s, though to allow one against Kansas would have been presumably more difficult to overcome.
And the the Sun Devils did just that, responding to that listless 15-2 start with a run of their own, scoring 10 straight and eventually closing the half down just three.
In the second half, there would be no such Kansas run, and Arizona State outscored the Jayhawks 58-42 in the final 20 minutes.
The Sun Devils relied on a torrid afternoon beyond the arc, making half of their 28 3-point attempts while Kansas made just 14 of 38. Tra Holder led the Sun Devils with 29 points and Shannon Evans II added another 22. Coming off the bench, Remy Martin made 8 of his 11 attempts to score 21, which was 20 more than the entire Kansas bench.
Arizona State will have a week off before hosting Vanderbilt next Sunday and Longwood on Dec. 19. It gets into its Pac-12 schedule after the Christmas break, with a three-game road trip at Arizona on Dec. 30, Colorado on Jan. 4, and Utah on Jan. 7.
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