Barclays, Center—Arizona State was on cloud nine when the ball tipped off and came back down to earth when they were hoisting the Legends Classic Championship Trophy.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 20 points and led the Sun Devils in blowing out the No. 20 ranked Michigan (3-1). ASU beat Michigan 82-67 on Thursday night to win the Legends Classic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It was the most lopsided championship game in the event’s 16-year history and Arizona State’s largest margin of victory against a ranked opponent.
Michigan started the game 3 of 20 from the court and 2 of 8 from the free-throwline, trailed by 21 points before halftime and never made it a game after the break.
Arizona State (5-1) to jump out to an early 15-5 lead. Michigan had issues defending the three point line, the Sun Devils made seven straight field goals midway through the half for a 19-point lead.
Layups from Hunter Dickinson, Jett Howard and Doug McDaniel gave the Wolverines some momentum, sparking a 6-0 run and bringing the score to 34-19 with four minutes before the break. But it was short lived, ASU answered with a 12-4 run of their own. The Wolverines scrapped it out in the closing minutes of the first half but the Maize and Blue trailed at the break, 46-28.
The 25-point loss was the biggest margin of defeat for U-M under Juwan Howard.
“I thought it was an elite performance,” coach Bobby Hurley said. “These guys were just — man, they were making plays all over the court. I just kind of told them, I’m kind of in awe of them a little bit. Just kind of took a step back and was watching and just proud of how they competed and performed and made plays out there.”
Michigan opened the second half ice cold from the field as well and looked disjointed on both ends of the floor.
The Wolverines got within 15 just once following Arizona State’s opening run of the half. Dickinson put back a miss by Howard cut the lead to 50-34 early in the second half, but the momentum was brief as Howard was whistled for a foul 12 seconds later before Arizona State’s Warren Washington slammed home a monster dunk to make it 60-41.
A jumper by Horne with 10:55 left extended it to 64-43 for Arizona State, which led by 32 before Michigan emptied the bench with 4:12 remaining. The Sun Devils followed suit with 2:26 to play.
“Getting beat like that is pretty embarrassing,” Dickinson said. “You don’t want to have that kind of wakeup call, but it happened. So for us, I feel like it’ll level us and kind of bring us back down to Earth that obviously we can’t just roll a ball out there and play and expect to win.”
Hunter Dickinson had 14 points and five rebounds and Jett Howard scored 12 to lead Michigan.
Desmond Cambridge scored a game-high 20 points, followed by 19 from DJ Horne and 15 from Austin Nunez and 13 from Luther Muhammed to propel the Sun Devils.
The Wolverines got just 28 total points from their bench over the first two games of the season, so the 34 bench points on Wednesday was definitely change of pace.
“Some of the shots were uncontested — that was disappointing,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “But there were times when they made shots that were contested because of the fact (of) the confidence level that they had.”
Michigan: Led by the 7-foot-1 Dickinson down low, the Wolverines made 62.3% of their 2-point attempts in their first three games. But with Dickinson mostly contained and boxed in, Michigan shot just 43% from inside the arc Thursday night. The Wolverines missed four consecutive shots around the cup during a single possession while down 22-10. They couldn’t make up for it from beyond the arc, finishing 4 of 22 (18%) on 3s.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils entered the contest shooting just 29.4% from 3-point territory but feasted against Michigan’s zone defense, going 8 for 14 in the first half and 11 of 19 (58%) overall.
Michigan: Tries to rebound against Ohio at home Sunday night.
Arizona State: Will host Grambling on Tuesday night.