TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State used a 3-point game to open an early lead and survived a modest Loyola Marymount rally before blowing out the Lions, 68-44, Thursday night.
Role players on last season's NCAA tournament team last season led the way for the Sun Devils.
They included Chance Murray with 12 points, Jonathan Gilling and Bo Barnes with 11 points each and Shaquielle McKissic with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Sun Devils (3-0) were trying to inject life into an anemic offense that had struggled in a 49-39 win Monday over visiting Bethune-Cookman. But they were limited through much of the game by poor ball-handling that cost them. They had 17 turnovers.
The Lions (1-2) were led by Simon Krajcovic and Eric Payne with nine points each.
Arizona State limited LMU to 28.1 shooting, the best defense effort since a game in February 2010.
The Sun Devils clamped down on key Lions reserve Payne, who set a school freshman record with 497 points last season then scored a team-high 23 and 22 points, respectively, in their first two games. In this game, he shot 3-for-13 for nine points.
The Sun Devils led just 31-26 early in the second half, then gradually moved out to double-digit leads. They broke the game open on 3-pointers by Barnes and Gilling and a driving layup by Chance Murray that made it 53-38 with less than 6:00 left.
They stretched the lead to 58-38 with 3:45 left.
Early on the Sun Devils rolled up a 24-11 lead, then the Lions used an aggressive defense to force turnovers and cut the margin to 28-22 at halftime.
Another role player from last year's NCAA tournament team, Eric Jacobsen, had a fine all-round game with seven points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. He now has blocked nine shots on the season, compared to 15 for all of last season.
Arizona State: ASU ran up a home record of 32-5 the past two seasons. So, including the game against LMU, the Sun Devils have gone 35-5 since the start of the 2012-13 season. ASU coach Herb Sendek needs two more wins to reach 400 in his career. Once he does, he will be the third-youngest Division 1 coach with 400 (Billy Donovan, Steve Alford). The series between these teams dates to 1937, but this was the first meeting since 1980.
Loyola Marymount: This was LMU's 156th meeting all time vs. current members of the Pac-12. The Lions have faced USC most often (55 times). The last meeting against a member of the Pac-12 came in the first game of the 2011-12 season as the Lions downed No. 17 UCLA. Current LMU coach Mike Dunlap played for the Lions in 1980.
LMU hosts San Diego Christian on Sunday.
ASU meets Maryland in Kansas City.