TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Rob Edwards made five first-half 3-pointers and finished with 23 points, leading Arizona State to a 90-49 win over Central Connecticut on Thursday night.
The game was the Sun Devils’ first since a loss to Pac-12 rival Colorado in China on November 8 and was their home opener. Edwards did most of his damage in the first 20 minutes with 15 points, as Arizona State never trailed again after being down 2-0 in the opening minutes.
Arizona State (1-1) went on runs of 11-0 and 9-0 in the first half and took a 43-23 lead into halftime on a 3 from Edwards with 12 seconds to go. It was the Sun Devils’ largest lead of the half.
Romello White and Taeshon Cherry made their season debuts for the Sun Devils. Both were key contributors to last seasons’s NCAA tournament team but were suspended for the Sun Devils’ season opener in China against Colorado for violating team rules. White had 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils (0-3) went more than 5 ½ minutes without scoring in the first half, but trailed by just seven, 26-19, on a 3 from Zach Newkirk. Arizona State scored the next nine points, punctuated by Jalen Graham’s dunk with 2:43 left.
Freshman Greg Outlaw’s nine points led the Blue Devils. Central Connecticut has 10 players in their first year with the program and has a total of 11 underclassmen.
The Sun Devils took a 26-point lead on a layup and free throw from House with 12:36 to play in the game.
The Blue Devils made just 17 of 57 from the field.
Central Connecticut faces a grueling travel schedule. The Blue Devils must travel back East after a 10 p.m. ET tipoff in Arizona to play Massachusetts in an early afternoon game on Saturday. They were picked to finish 10th (second to last) in their conference in the preseason coaches poll.
Arizona State figures to face a tougher test in Rider on Sunday. That game will be the last true home game for the Sun Devils until Dec. 7, when Louisiana Lafayette comes to Tempe. Four Pac-12 teams will have played six home games before the Sun Devils play their third at home.
Central Connecticut looks for its first win when it faces Massachusetts on Saturday.
Arizona State hosts Rider on Sunday afternoon. The Broncs were picked to finish second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in the league’s preseason coaches poll, with five starters back from last year’s team.