Even without Ty Abbott, the Arizona St. Sun Devils were able to win their first round game in the Great Alaska Shootout, defeating the Houston Baptist Huskies 73-55. Trent Lockett led ASU with 18 points, and freshmen Kyle Cain and Keala King both contributed 13 points off the bench.
The Sun Devils (2-1) jumped out to a 32-19 halftime lead, but the Huskies (0-4) nearly caught up in the second half on the strength of Andrew Gonzalez, who scored 26 points in a losing effort. Rihards Kuksiks shot an abysmal 4-17 from the field, making only 3 of his 12 three-point attempts.
Ty Abbott suffered a deep bone bruise on his knee in last week's victory over UAB, and sat out this contest to get more rest. Cain performed ably in an expanded role, grabbing 17 rebounds for a double-double.
With the victory, ASU moves on to take on the victor of the Alaska-Anchorage/Weber St. tilt that has yet to see a conclusion. Weber State is a good squad that won the Big Sky regular season title in 2009-2010 - they would not be a pushover victory for the Devils, especially if Abbott is unable to play tomorrow.
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