TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Remy Martin scored 23 points, Alonzo Verge Jr. also scored 23 points with seven assists and Arizona State defeated Texas Southern 98-81 on Saturday.
The Sun Devils (9-4) ended a two-game losing streak with 57% shooting, including 12 of 25 on 3-pointers.
The Sun Devils lost center Romello White in the first half when he appeared to turn his right ankle while posting up and being screened. White fell to the floor in pain, and was attended to by trainers with coach Bobby Hurley standing nearby.
White, who had two points and a steal in eight minutes of action, was helped off the court and walked back to the locker room. His injury was announced as a sprained ankle, and he didn’t return.
John Jones led Texas Southern (3-9) with 27 points. The Tigers have lost four of five.
A 10-1 run helped Texas Southern reduced a 16-point deficit to a 29-22 Arizona State lead.
Arizona State used an 8-0 run to go up 37-22 with 4:36 to go in the first half, Verge with a layup off a touch pass from Martin necessitating a Tigers timeout. Martin smiled wide as he made the pass. He had 15 of his points in the first half.
Taeshon Cherry threw down a two-handed dunk off a long pass from Kimani Lawrence just before the halftime buzzer, and the Sun Devils led 48-33 with a season high in first-half points.
The Sun Devils took a 59-40 lead early in the second half on a 3-pointer from Verge. But Texas Southern answered with a 21-9 run to make it 68-61 with 11:32 to play. Jones hit a pair of 3s during that stretch.
Back-to-back transition baskets after a Jaelen House 3-pointer effectively ended the Tigers’ upset hopes, with the Sun Devils going up 77-62 on a Verge layup. House, a freshman, hit 5 of 7 3-pointers for 20 points, tying a season high.
Texas Southern: The Tigers, picked in a preseason poll to finish second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, head back to Texas to play Texas A&M on Monday, then open conference play next Saturday against Alcorn State. Texas Southern hasn’t played at home in Houston since Dec. 7.
Arizona State: This one was a much-needed confidence booster for the Sun Devils going into the Pac-12 season, after two straight losses. But it was overshadowed by the injury to White, who had been averaging 14.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game in his previous six. If White misses extended time, Hurley could turn to more minutes for senior Mickey Mitchell and 6-foot-9 junior transfer Khalid Thomas in the post.
Texas Southern plays Texas A&M Monday night. The Aggies (5-5) haven’t played since a Dec. 21 win over Oregon State.
Arizona State starts conference play next Saturday against No. 24 Arizona in Tucson.
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