TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman guard Luguentz Dort scored 25 points, leading Arizona State to an 80-52 victory over McNeese State on Friday night.
Dort followed up his 28-point college debut on Tuesday with another big offensive performance. Senior Zylan Cheatham added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Kimani Lawrence scored 16 for the Sun Devils (2-0).
Arizona State enjoyed a 42-18 advantage in points in the paint against the smaller Cowboys (0-2) of the Southland Conference. Guard Kevin Hunt led McNeese State with 15 points.
The Sun Devils scored 26 points off 17 turnovers by the Cowboys.
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McNeese State went 5 1/2 minutes without a point in the first half after taking an early lead. Arizona State went up by 13, 27-14, on Dort’s twisting finger roll with 5:36 left in the half. The 13-point lead was the Sun Devils’ largest of the half.
McNeese State scored the next seven points and poor shooting from the Sun Devils to close out the half kept the Cowboys in the game.
Dort drove for a floater and was fouled with 44.1 seconds left, and his 3-point play made it 33-21. He blocked a layup just before the half ended.
ASU led 33-23 at halftime but made only 11 of 29 shots in the first 20 minutes. McNeese State sank just 6 of 24.
The Cowboys only got as close as eight points in the second half. Arizona State made 16 of 29 shots after intermission.
Dort threw down a two-handed dunk with no one around him after a McNeese State turnover, giving the Sun Devils a 58-34 lead with 9:33 to play.
The Sun Devils’ next three baskets were three unanswered 3-pointers to put the game away.
Arizona State played without guard Rob Edwards, who played 41 minutes in the season opener on Tuesday and scored 14 points. Martin got the start in place of Edwards, who was out with a back injury.
McNeese State has 10 new players under first-year head coach Heath Schroyer. The Cowboys are looking for their first winning season since 2012.
Arizona State doesn’t play its first road game until November 16 at San Francisco, but there are two neutral-court games in Las Vegas immediately after facing the Dons and three more nonconference away games in December.
McNeese State: The Cowboys return to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for their first home game of the season, against Loyola (New Orleans) on November 16.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils host Long Beach State on Friday.
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