It was a successful weekend for the Sun Devils. Both men's and women's basketball teams beat Washington this weekend and the #1 ranked baseball team opened the season by sweeping the DeMarini Invitational.
The men's basketball team won an impressive, if relatively unexciting, road game at Washington Saturday afternoon in which James Harden once again led the Devils with 25 points and 8 boards. Harden had a bunch of help on this occasion as ASU experienced a hot shooting night by finishing the game with a 52 percent shooting total, including 13-25 from 3-point territory. In all, six Sun Devils made a three point field goal during the game and the supporting cast executed throughout the game to seal the win. Ty Abbott supplied 11 points, Derek Glasser contributed 12 points and 7 assists, and the hard charging Rihards Kuksiks dropped 15 points. The quality play out of Kuksiks over the last couple of games has been a pleasant surprise as he is filling the scoring role that was expected out of Jerren Shipp. The Latvian has seemed to rediscover his shooting touch and will hopefully continue to supply the 10-15 points per game that we need from a third or fourth scoring option. ASU next plays UCLA at home on Thursday night at 8:30pm.
Meanwhile, back in Tempe the baseball team destroyed the competition this weekend in its season opening home series. The Devils beat their three opponents over the weekend by a combined score of 36-6. Friday night, ASU beat Miami (OH) 7-0, Saturday ASU took down #3 Vanderbilt 18-6, and Sunday the Devils defeated two-time defending national champion and #7 ranked Oregon State by a score of 11-0. ASU's pitching was stellar throughout the weekend, combining for two shutouts and starting the weekend off with 14.1 innings without allowing a run. As for the bats, well they were productive to say the least. The new players looked solid, with Jason Kipnis hitting two home runs and a triple over the weekend and shortstop Marcel Champagnie hitting a three run double on Sunday afternoon. As for the returning players, Pac-10 Player of the Year Brett Wallace is simply a beast. On Saturday afternoon, Wallace hit a grand slam in the fourth inning, then followed it up with a three-run homer in his next at bat. He then led off Sunday's game with a line drive solo shot to left field on Oregon State's second pitch of the game. That's right, 3 home runs in 3 straight at bats. ASU looked every bit as good as their #1 ranking implies this weekend and play next in the Coca-Cola Classic on Thursday through Sunday in Tempe and Surprise.