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Sun Devils Win Streak Ends At Three

by Doug Seagrave/Excel H Sports West

The University of San Francisco Dons visited Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Sunday after playing Grand Canyon University at the Footprint Center on Saturday. The Dons entered that game with a 10-0 record before losing to the Lopes 49-48. Arizona State came into the game having won three games in a row, over Oregon, Grand Canyon, and Creighton. The game turned out to be a high-intensity defensive battle decided in the last seconds. The Sun Devils had several opportunities to extend their winning streak but fell short, losing 66-65.
San Francisco looked energetic and intense throughout despite playing their second road game in two days. Both teams played well defensively. The Dons finished shooting 43% from the field while ASU shot only 38%. However, the Dons were able to 12 three-pointers to the Sun Devils 6. The Sun Devils forced 21 San Francisco turnovers and outrebounded the Dons 46-40. Both teams struggled from the free throw line. ASU was 5-11 and USF 8-16.
It was a back-and-forth affair as the largest lead for each team was 7 points. The Sun Devils led 60-54 before USF went on a 9-0 run to take a 63-60 lead when Zane Meeks hit a 3-pointer with 2:58 left. ASU responded with DJ Horne scoring, followed by a Jay Heath 3-pointer with 1:40 left to take a 65-63 lead. Marreon Jackson went the free throw line with 30 seconds left and a chance to extend the lead to 4 points. He missed the front end of the one and one.
With 12 seconds left, the Dons Dzmitry Ryuny threw up a shot from long distance which had no chance of finding the basket. However, Kimani Lawrence was called for a shooting foul on the 3-pointer. The ASU Crowd, and Coach Bobby Hurley, were vociferous in their displeasure with the call. Ryuny hit all 3 free throws, 66-65 USF. The Sun Devils had 3 shots in the last few seconds, all unsuccessful. The Dons had earned a split in their weekend visit to the Valley of the Sun.
The Dons were led in scoring by guard Khalil Shabazz with 20 points. Zane Meeks was the only player from either team that had a great shooting night. Meeks was 5 of 6 from 3-point territory to finish with 15 points. The Dons are now 11-1.
Jay Heath and Kimani Lawrence each had double-doubles for the Sun Devils. Heath ended with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals. Lawrence had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Sun Devils (5-7) look to start another win streak on Tuesday as they host Florida A&M as Desert Financial Arena in Tempe. They open Pac-12 play on December 30 at USC.

TERRITORIAL CUP REMAINS IN TEMPE

by: Doug Seagrave/Excel H Sports West


Arizona State University and the University of Arizona complete each regular season with the battle for the Territorial Championship Cup which is the oldest intercollegiate rivalry trophy in the nation. The Arizona Territory did not become a state until 1912. The first Territorial Cup was awarded to the Tempe Normal School, now ASU, in 1899. The Sun Devils shellacked the Wildcats 70-7 last year. ASU entered today 7-4, 5-3 in the Pac-12. Arizona was 1-10, 1-7 in the Pac-12. Arizona leads the overall series 49-44-1. Sun Devil Stadium had a large and raucous crowd in support of ASU. It was a typical late November day in Tempe, 74 degrees and sunny at kickoff.
This year’s Cup was very important to both teams, albeit for vastly different reasons. Arizona is struggling in the first year of the Jedd Fisch era in Tucson. A victory over their in-state rival would provide much needed momentum, and a shred of positivity heading into 2022. Arizona State has been inconsistent and disappointing in the fourth year with Herm Edwards at the helm. This season has disappointed many of the fans and pundits in the Valley. Add in the looming NCAA investigation regarding possible recruiting violations, and there is speculation there may be a change in leadership in Tempe. A loss to the Wildcats would be devastating.
The Wildcats first possession looked promising with quarterback Will Plummer, a freshman from nearby Gilbert, leading the team on a 9-play, 77-yard drive. However, they had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Tyler Loop to take a 3-0 lead.
ASU junior quarterback Jayden Daniels responded on the ensuing possession with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that took 4 minutes and 23 seconds. The drive was highlighted by a 27-yard reception by senior running back Rachaad White. Daniels hit junior Ricky Pearsall with a 14-yard touchdown pass. Junior kicker Cristian Zendejas added the PAT to make it 7-3 Sun Devils .
The Wildcats responded with a long drive. They took six minutes and nineteen seconds to run 12 plays and cover 67 yards. However, the red zone difficulties that have plagued them all year continued, and they settled for another field goal from Tyler Loop. The 26-yard kick made the score 7-6 ASU with 14:55 left in the 2nd quarter.
Arizona got the ball back after a 3 and out from the Sun Devils. Quarterback Plummer was chased by senior cornerback Jack Jones and coughed up the football. Senior Tyler Johnson recovered and returned it to the Wildcat 1-yard line. Rachaad White punched it in for the touchdown on the first play giving ASU a 14-6 lead with 12:12 left in the first half.
The Wildcats continued to sustain drives only to come up short of paydirt. Their next possession after the White touchdown run resulted in a 32-yard field goal making the score 14-9 ASU. That would remain the score going into halftime.
Jayden Daniels legs started the second half domination for the Sun Devils. Less than two minutes into the half, Daniels called his own number and scampered 48 yards for a touchdown. 21-9.
Arizona kept battling. The Wildcats had a 9-play, 54-yard drive that finally saw them get into the end zone for a touchdown when Plummer threw a 5-yard pass to sophomore Michael Wiley. They failed on the 2-point conversion attempt. 21-15 ASU.
ASU did not blink. They took their next possession on a 10-play, 78-yard drive capped by Daniels 14-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Pearsall. The Sun Devils were successful on their 2-point conversion try. 29-15 ASU with 4:50 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Sun Devils would not yield another point to the Wildcats. The next points for ASU were created by the defense. Arizona started at their own 3-yard line. Junior Stanley Lambert had a huge sack of Plummer to put the offense in deep trouble. The Wildcats were forced to punt out of their own end zone. They were called for a holding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety. 31-15.
Arizona State’s defense put the game completely out of reach. Jack Jones intercepted a Plummer pass and returned it 87 yards for a pick 6. The successful PAT was the final score of the game. The Sun Devils walked off Frank Kush Field with a 38-15 victory. The Territorial Cup stays in Tempe for the 5th straight year.
The Sun Devils improve to 8-4, 6-3 in the Pac-12. The Wildcats fall to 1-11, 1-8 in the Pac-12. ASU will await a bowl invitation.
Arizona’s Plummer threw for 346 yards to lead the Wildcats. They only had 50 yards on the ground. The had 2 turnovers. Jayden Daniels only threw for 86 yards. However, he and Rachaad White led a rushing attack that gained 228 yards. They did not turn the ball over.

Want to contact me: stevenstremming@excelhsportswest.com

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American Football Coaches Poll November 15, 2021

1Sam Houston (27)9-06981
2James Madison9-16652
3Montana St. (1)9-16443
4North Dakota St.9-15756
5Kennesaw St.9-15635
6Eastern Washington8-25598
7Montana8-25109
8UT Martin9-148610
9Villanova8-246511
10East Tennessee St.9-144412
11UC Davis8-24134
12Southeastern Louisiana8-238113
13South Dakota St.7-33527
14Missouri St.7-332614
15Southern Illinois7-329416
16South Dakota7-327817
17Jackson St.9-127715
18Sacramento St.8-224618
19UIW8-218721
20Princeton8-114722
21Dartmouth8-113623
22Stephen F. Austin7-399NR
23Mercer7-288NR
24Monmouth (N.J.)7-386NR
25Florida A&M8-253NR

Dropped Out: Chattanooga (19), VMI (20), Northern Iowa (24), Eastern Kentucky (25)

Others Receiving Votes: Holy Cross, 35; Rhode Island, 33; Chattanooga, 18; Eastern Kentucky, 17; Northern Iowa, 5; VMI, 4; Weber St., 4; Central Arkansas, 3; William & Mary, 3; Jacksonville St., 2; Maine, 2; Harvard, 1; Sacred Heart, 1.

STATS PEFORM POLL

  1. Sam Houston (50)
  2. James Madison
  3. Montana State
  4. North Dakota State
  5. Eastern Washington
  6. Villanova
  7. Montana
  8. ETSU
  9. Kennesaw State
  10. UC Davis
  11. Sacramento State
  12. South Dakota State
  13. UT Martin
  14. Missouri State
  15. Southeastern Louisiana
  16. South Dakota
  17. Southern Illinois
  18. UIW
  19. Jackson State
  20. Dartmouth
  21. Mercer
  22. Stephen F. Austin
  23. Florida A&M
  24. Princeton
  25. Rhode Island

Others receiving votes (schools listed on two or more ballots): Northern Iowa 64, Monmouth 61, Holy Cross 37, VMI 25, Chattanooga 21, William & Mary 17, Prairie View A&M 14, North Dakota 11, Eastern Kentucky 7, Sacred Heart 7, Harvard 4

Dropped from rankings: Northern Iowa 20, VMI 21, Chattanooga 22 (tie), Prairie View A&M 24, William & Mary 25