Jordan Ford scored 19 of his team’s first 21 points, and Saint Mary’s blew out cold-shooting Arizona State 96-56 Wednesday night in the nightcap of the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase in Phoenix.
Ford, a senior guard, made his first eight shots including five 3-pointers, stunning the partisan Sun Devils crowd at Talking Stick Resort Arena, the home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns only a few miles from the Arizona State campus.
Ford didn’t miss until the 6:06 mark of the first half, when he air-balled a 3-point attempt. He heard derisive cheers from the crowd, but by that time the Gaels (11-2) had built a 38-12 lead.
Ford’s season-high 34 points led Saint Mary’s. Malik Fitts scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Tanner Krebs added 11 points for the Gaels. Saint Mary’s made 16 of its 26 3-point attempts overall.
Alonzo Verge Jr. led Arizona State (8-3) with a career-high 43 points, 13 less than his team’s total. Leading scorer Remy Martin, averaging 20.3 points per game going into Wednesday, was held scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting in 28 minutes.
Saint Mary’s scored 21 unanswered points in the first half, and with the Sun Devils making just 22 percent of their shots, took a 51-19 lead into halftime after Kyle Bowen’s layup that beat the buzzer.
Ten days after a loss to current No. 13 Dayton in the same building, the Gaels came out hot and cruised to their second straight win over a Pac-12 opponent. They handed California an 89-77 loss in Berkeley, Calif., on Sunday night.
Ford scored 12 points in the second half and made 7 of 11 shots from beyond the arc overall.
The Gaels doubled up the Sun Devils 78-39 with 8:24 to play, on Fitts’ layup.
Arizona State’s five-game winning streak came to an end.
—Field Level Media