The two most telling stats in Arizona State's 71-48 home win over Gardner-Webb: Nine offensive rebounds in the first half, and the North Carolina school's miserable 30.4 field-goal percentage.
Coach Herb Sendek's team did it like they want to do it when the Devils win, forcing 17 turnovers and forcing the Bulldogs of the Big South Conference out of rhythm. Hitting 11 of 24 three-point attempts as a team also helped.
Ty Abbott (18 points), Trent Lockett (16) and Rihards Kuksiks (15) led the Devils on offense, with forward Kyle Cain chipping in eight points and 11 rebounds. Cain and Lockett combined for 10 points off of offensive rebounds as ASU (4-4) snapped a three-game losing streak.
"It was big to hold them to 48. We'd been struggling defensively and we had a good hard defensive week, so it's good to see that translate to the court," Abbott said.
The Devils used their five days off between games wisely with rest and some hard practices. They are now 13-3 in the past three years with five full days in between games, which they'll have leading up to the next one at Nevada in Reno on Dec. 17.
"We wanted to really emphasize the importance of playing good team defense and trying to have each other's backs in a better fashion," Sendek said.
The Bulldogs stayed somewhat close, never trailing by more than 14 in the first half (12 at halftime) and cut the ASU lead to eight, 46-38, with 10:55 left in the game. Five seconds later, Kuksiks nailed a three, and the Sun Devils expansed their lead.
Gardner-Webb lost their leading scorer, Jon Moore, to an apparent left foot injury early in the second half. Moore was to have X-rays taken after the game.
The Sun Devils looked sluggish at times and did go more than five minutes without a point in the second half, but they tipped a lot of passes and forced many bad shots on defense. Despite making 50 percent of their shots in the second half, the Devils finished the game with a 44.6 field-goal percentage.
Abbott was 6-for-15 and Jamelle McMillan 2-for-7.
Saturday's game was a reprieve of sorts from the difficult schedule the Sun Devils have played thus far, which includes losses to New Mexico, St. Johns, Baylor and Richmond.