Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting while leading the Arizona Wildcats to a 91-75 win over ASU on Thursday at McKale Center.
Markkanen hit 3 of 6 3-pointers and also pulled down eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who moved to 16-2 overall and 5-0 in the Pac-12 with the win.
ASU (9-9, 2-3) shot 47.4 percent from the field but was pounded on the glass, with UA rebounding the Sun Devils 38-22.
Dusan Ristic added 16 points and seven rebounds for UA, while Kadeem Allen had 18 points and five assists. Kobi Simmons had 13 on 5-for-9 shooting while rebounding from a shooting slump last weekend against Utah and Colorado.
Obi Oleka led ASU with 22 points and Tra Holder had 20 while the Sun Devils’ leading scorer, Torian Graham, had 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting.
After leading by 20 at halftime and after three minutes of the second half, the Wildcats slipped midway through the second. ASU cut their lead to 13 points twice, shooting 55 percent through the first 12 minutes of the half and outrebounding the Wildcats 11-10.
The Sun Devils managed to hit 9 of 16 3-pointers after going 0 for 9 in the first half from long range.
But Arizona went back ahead 76-58 less than two minutes later, with Kadeem Allen hitting an 18-footer and then grabbing a steal that led to a layup by Kobi Simmons with 6:38 left. The Wildcats took a 20-point lead, 78-58, when Rawle Alkins fed Simmons for an alley-oop layup with 5:20 and UA held on to comfortable leads the rest fo the way.
In the first half, Markkanen had 15 points to lead the Wildcats a 45-25 halftime lead.
Markkanen hit 6 of 7 shots and 3 of 4 3-pointers while Ristic added nine points, Chance Comance had eight and Kadeem Allen had five assists.
The Wildcats shot 61.3 percent and dominated the Sun Devils on the glass, outrebounding them 21-9.
ASU shot only 37 percent missed all nine three-pointers it tried.
Ristic and the Wildcats stepped on the Sun Devils right after tipoff, with Ristic scoring on UA’s possession and totaling nine points through the first 3:15. Arizona was already up 9-0 with 18:05 left, and extended it to 14-2 by the first media timeout, with 15:24 left in the half.
At that point, Ristic had nine points, while ASU was being outrebounded 10-0 and missed five of its first six shots.
Arizona went ahead 20-8 on an alley-oop dunk by Alkins on a feed from Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and wheile ASU cut it to 20-12, Markkanen hit three straight threes over a span of 1;15 to put UA ahead 29-12.
After Markkanen’s third three, from the exact same spot in the right corner as his second, ASU coach Bobby Hurley called a timeout, but the Wildcats didn’t let up. They led by up to 24 points the rest of the half.
Arizona played without guard Allonzo Trier for the 18th game against ASU because of his ongoing NCAA suspension.
Trier did not warm up for tonight’s ASU-UA game, instead taking some casual shots and sitting on the sidelines.
UA has made no official comment on Trier's status since October, and the NCAA has also declined comment on his situation.
ASU reserve forward Maurice O'Field also did not play. According to an ASU spokesman, O'Field stayed home for personal reasons.
O'Field is averaging only 4.3 minutes a game.