SAN FRANCISCO - As a team trainer attended to a cut on his chin late in the second half, Arizona State's Romello White figured his night was done.
"I was really mad because (the trainer) told me I needed stitches, so I thought I wasn't going to play anymore," White said. "I got real, real mad. I was anxious to get back. He just put a band-aid on it and I got back in."
Just in time, as it turns out.
White scored 14 points including a pivotal short hook shot with 1:31 left, and Arizona State held on to beat San Francisco 71-67 on Tuesday night.
Remy Martin had 14 points, five assists and six rebounds for the Sun Devils (5-2). Martin, Arizona State’s leading scorer who was coming off a career-high 33 against Providence a week earlier, shot 4 of 15 and had four turnovers. White finished with 11 rebounds, and Taeshon Cherry scored 10 points.
“Remy didn’t have his usual game… and we were able to weather the storm,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “Good things happen when we get the ball to Romello. We have multiple guys that we think can impact winning for us at the offensive end. We just have to get a little more balanced.”
Jamaree Bouyea had 17 points and Khalil Shabazz added 15 for San Francisco (7-2). The Dons have lost consecutive games after winning their first seven.
The game was tight throughout the second half with 12 lead changes.
Bouyea made two free throws with 1:49 remaining to make it 68-66. White, who left the game twice for an ankle injury and cut on his chin, answered with a hook shot near the baseline.
San Francisco missed numerous chances to score after that but missed two 3s and a layup.
“This was a game that we expected to win on our home floor, to be honest,” Dons coach Todd Golden said. “We just could never get in a flow. We didn’t turn the ball over too much, we did a decent job on the glass. We just didn’t shoot the ball well.”
Khalid Thomas sealed the win for Arizona State with a free throw with 5.9 seconds left. Thomas then stole the ensuing inbounds pass near midcourt.
Arizona State: It wasn’t pretty by any stretch and the Sun Devils were lucky to get out of California with a win. They committed 12 turnovers and really struggled to find a secondary scorer to pick up the pace with Martin’s off night. Hurley said after the game that White will have to get stitches in his chin but the injury isn’t expected to keep him out.
San Francisco: The Dons lost at home for the first time this season despite a gritty effort. Because they’re playing a back-to-back, the Dons won’t have much time to think about where it went wrong late either.
MARTIN GETS A BREAK
Martin logged more playing time (29 minutes) than any other Arizona State player. At least this game he got a chance to rest. Martin played all 40 minutes in the Sun Devils win over Princeton a week earlier.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils return to Tempe to host Louisiana on Saturday.
San Francisco: Play California on Wednesday at War Memorial Gym. The Dons beat the Bears 79-60 in Berkeley last December.
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