TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Romello White had 19 points and 14 rebounds, Rob Edwards added 17 points and Arizona State returned to the desert to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 77-65 Saturday night.
Playing their first home game since Nov. 17, the Sun Devils (6-2) were good in stretches, seemed to be going through the motions in others.
Arizona State used its size advantage to shoot 54% inside the 3-point arc — 6 for 26 outside it — and had a 38-20 advantage in the paint. The Sun Devils also scored 18 second-chance points on 16 offensive rebounds.
The young Ragin’ Cajuns (5-4) kept it close early, but struggled with turnovers and Arizona State’s size, particularly with their two starting forwards in foul trouble. Louisiana had 20 turnovers, leading to 22 points for the Sun Devils .
Mylik Wilson and Cedric Russell had 16 points apiece to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Arizona State has been the road Devils during the nonconference season.
The Sun Devils opened in China against Colorado and stayed on the road most of the season’s first six weeks, logging more than 19,000 air miles and 95 hours traveling.
Arizona State outlasted San Francisco 71-67 on Tuesday and returned to the desert to get in a couple home practices before facing the Ragin’ Cajuns, who beat Southeastern Louisiana their previous game.
The Sun Devils had trouble finding the range from deep early in their return home, going 1 for 8 from 3-point range.
They made up for it with defense and overpowering the Ragin’ Cajuns inside.
Arizona State made 13 of its 22 shots inside the arc with Louisiana starting forward Dou Gueye limited to three minutes due to foul trouble and scored 18 points on Louisiana’s 13 first-half turnovers. Edwards and White had 11 points each to give the Sun Devils a 38-26 halftime lead.
The fouls began to pile up quickly for the Ragin’ Cajuns to start the second half with Gueye, Trajan Wesley and Jalen Johnson all picking up their fourth in the opening three minutes.
Arizona State stretched the lead to 19, but Louisiana trimmed it to 69-59 with 3 1/2 minutes left.
Louisiana-Lafayette played even with with the Sun Devils in the second half, but was doomed by the turnovers and offensive rebounds in the first.
Arizona State wasn’t exactly sharp in its return to the desert, but played scrappy defense and used its size to take down the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Louisiana-Lafayette plays at Louisiana Tech next Saturday.
Arizona State hosts Prairie View A&M on Wednesday.