It was a bad performance all around in the first half against UMass-Lowell. The Sun Devils were outrebounded, outhustled, and outshot. All of that leads to a 31-22 halftime deficit for ASU.
HALFTIME: River Hawks lead Arizona State, 31-22! Coulibaly paces the squad with eight points. Covington with seven and five boards, while Morris III and Hikim each add six points!#UnitedInBlue | #AEHoops pic.twitter.com/0tpR3IQ7mL
— UMass Lowell MBB (@RiverHawkMBB) November 17, 2023
In the preview, I said that ASU couldn’t allow UML to get hot early. Well, they allowed it. UMass-Lowell went on a 12-5 run to start the game, shooting 40+ from the field. Abdoul Karim Coulibaly scored 7 of those early points and finished the half with 8. Brayden O’Connor was all over the floor for UMass early, getting steals, rebounds, and loose balls. His hustle showed out, as he had two steals and two rebounds in the first half.
Arizona State tried to close the gap late after being down 12 points thanks to four straight shots made by four different River Hawks. ASU got an and-1 from Jose Perez, a three from Alonzo Gaffney, and layups by Bryant Selebangue and Frankie Collins, the lead was cut to 5. However, a 6-2 run to finish the half for the River Hawks pretty much destroyed the progress made by ASU. Cam Morris III would put back a layup as time expired to give UMass a nine-point lead headed to halftime.
Veteran Move 😏@showout_zayy0 doing work down low
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) November 17, 2023
Jose Perez led Arizona State with 6 points, while Jamiya Neal, Gaffney, and Selebangue had four. However, the Sun Devils only shot 26.7% from the field, while the River Hawks hit 45% of their shots. The River Hawks were led by Coulibaly with 8. Yuri Covington had 7, while Ayinde Hakim and Cam Morris III had 6.
We say this every game, but the Sun Devils have to do better at shooting in the second half to close the gap. Will the Sun Devils do better in the second half?