Arizona State has shown it can rebound from the depths of a five-game losing streak, including scoring just 29 points in one of those matchups.
Now, the Sun Devils must prove to coach Bobby Hurley that they can sustain success. The Sun Devils next host San Francisco (10-1) on Sunday.
Arizona State (5-6) has won three consecutive games, including Tuesday’s 58-57 win at Creighton.
“I’m proud of the guys for how they stayed in the fight,” Hurley said, after his team rallied from a 32-26 deficit at halftime to beat Creighton.
“It comes down to the fight and the trust in each other. We’ve had great competition. We’ve been tested so we’ve been in these moments. We have to continue that fight,” Hurley added.
The game with Creighton was the seventh time in eight games the Sun Devils played an NCAA Tournament team from last season.
ASU has now played at last year’s Mountain West champion (San Diego State), the defending NCAA champion (Baylor), Syracuse (Sweet 16), Loyola of Chicago (Sweet 16), at Pac-12 regular-season champion (Oregon), the WAC champion (Grand Canyon) and Creighton (Sweet 16).
The Sun Devils’ toughness under Hurley, who is in his seventh season, is evident in their 18 wins of five points or fewer in the last three seasons. That mark is tied for the national lead with Western Kentucky.
DJ Horne led ASU with 12 points against Creighton, while Marreon Jackson added 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Dons lost their first game of the season on Saturday, 49-48 at Grand Canyon.
San Francisco standout Jamaree Bouyea contemplated walking on at Arizona State after graduating from high school in 2017, but former Dons coach Kyle Smith offered him a scholarship.
Bouyea, selected the West Coast Conference Player of the Week this week, led the Dons with 20.0 points a game while shooting 47.1 percent from 3-point range entering the Grand Canyon game.
He struggled against the Antelopes, scoring only seven points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field.
“Bouyea is one of, if not the most complete, point guards in the country,” Dons coach Todd Golden said. “He’s a two-way guard who leads the team every night and has the most difficult matchup in the backcourt defensively. He’s coachable, selfless and humble.”
–Field Level Media