Arizona State is on its second three-game winning streak of the men's college basketball season after having its way against Long Beach State in a 72-55 win Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils (6-4) didn't shoot especially well, but they did everything else. They forced 18 turnovers, out-rebounded the 49ers 41-35 and held Long Beach to a 33.3 field goal percentage.
Kyle Cain, a freshman forward, grabbed 16 rebounds, and senior guard Jamelle McMillan had six steals, a career high. McMillan's total was the most since James Harden recorded seven steals against USC in March 2008.
Cain has two of the four highest single-game rebounding totals for a freshman in ASU history. He tied the freshman record with 17 against Houston Baptist on Nov. 25. Tuesday night, Cain notched a double-double with 12 points and raised his per-game averages to 9.3 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Ty Abbott added 15 and Trent Lockett 10 for ASU, which took control of the game early in the second half thanks to 12-0 run over a three-minute span. The run gave the Devils a 50-32 lead after they led 34-28 at halftime.
The 49ers cut the lead to 60-50 with 5:52 to play, but a hard dunk by center Ruslan Pateev with 2:31 left gave ASU a 14-point lead and got the crowd of 6,214 out of their seats.
"I'm encouraged by some of the progress, but it's really important that our guys embrace humility and understand they still have a tremendous amount of work to do," ASU coach Herb Sendek said, "and that way we'll stay hungry to some degree."
McMillan hadn't practiced since the Devils' win over Nevada on Dec. 17. He didn't partake in the pregame shootaround Tuesday morning and there was some uncertainty whether he'd play. McMillan injured his groin at Nevada, but started and played 26 minutes against Long Beach State.
Next up for ASU is North Carolina A&T, a noon tipoff time this Thursday.
"We have very little margin for error. We're going to have to play really well on Thursday again," Sendek said. "We don't skip over any games."