Off to their best start in five years, the Arizona State Sun Devils will look to win their ninth straight game when they host San Diego on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz.
Neither team has played since Dec. 12. Arizona State (10-1) earned a 73-71 win over Creighton at the Jack Jones Hoopfest in Las Vegas, while the Toreros (6-5) ended a two-game losing streak with an 84-58 win over visiting UC San Diego.
Desmond Cambridge’s jumper with 1:42 remaining against Creighton gave the Sun Devils a 72-69 lead that stood after Ryan Nembhard’s last-second 3-pointer caromed off the rim.
Cambridge finished with 19 points and five rebounds, while DJ Horne added 12 points and Austin Nunez chipped in 10 points. Devan Cambridge, who is Desmond’s younger brother, and Warren Washington each finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
“I think that’s where we’ve grown as a program. We’ve valued the defensive end of the floor more and it’s paying off,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “It’s given us a chance to win these games late because we have the length and the size and the ability to get stops. I think we have a chance to consistently win basketball games this year.”
The Sun Devils, who are off to their best start since opening the 2017-18 season at 12-1, are led by Horne, who averages a team-high 12.8 points to go along with 4.9 rebounds per game.
Frankie Collins averages 11.7 points, with Devan (10.5 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Desmond Cambridge (11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8assists) also averaging in double figures.
San Diego had no trouble with UC San Diego. The Toreros led 44-21 at halftime and cruised to a victory in which they allowed their fewest points in a game this season.
Marcellus Earlington scored a game-high 21 points, with Seikou Sisoho Jawara adding 12 points and Eric Williams Jr. finishing with 10 points, a team-high seven rebounds and three assists. Jase Townsend, who averages a team-high 15.2 points, had four points, six rebounds and five assists.
While the Toreros have gotten off to a strong start under first-year coach Steve Lavin, Sunday’s game will be their first against a Power Five opponent.
“We’ll have to bring our defense with us if we expect to have success,” Lavin said. “It’s a road warrior mentality. This is some momentum.”
–Field Level Media