TUCSON, AZ (AP) - Remy Martin had 27 points and eight rebounds, helping Arizona State beat rival Arizona 72-64 on Saturday to sweep the season series for the first time in a decade.
The Sun Devils (21-9, 12-6 Pac-12) played without forward Taeshon Cherry, had multiple players in foul trouble and watched guard Rob Edwards fight through a difficult shooting game. Martin and Luguentz Dort carried the load.
Martin added seven assists after having a career-high 31 points and eight assists the first game against Arizona. Dort finished with 15 points, helping Arizona State end an eight-game losing streak at Arizona’s McKale Center.
Arizona (17-14, 8-10) kept up with the Sun Devils well into the second half, but also was plagued with foul trouble to lose for the ninth time in 11 games. Ryan Luther and Brandon Randolph led the Wildcats with 12 points.
The Sun Devils boosted their NCAA Tournament chances last Sunday, winning at Oregon State to earn the No. 2 seed in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament. Arizona State won the first meeting with rival Arizona 95-88 in overtime on Jan. 31.
Dort had eight points early in the rematch, but went to the bench with two fouls, including a technical for taunting Arizona’s Dylan Smith after hitting a 3-pointer.
Arizona took advantage, stretching its lead to 25-19 while getting Rob Edwards and De’Quon Lake in foul trouble as well.
Arizona State answered with an 8-0 run to go up 27-25 and Dort returned, but he quickly went back to the bench after picking up his third foul.
The Sun Devils kept up the defensive pressure despite Dort’s absence, holding Arizona without a field goal for nearly nine minutes. Arizona State couldn’t shake the Wildcats, though, in part because of sloppy mistakes that led to 11 turnovers.
The rivals were tied 33-all at halftime.
The second half opened with a series of missed shots, ugly turnovers and plenty of screaming at the officials by both coaches. Arizona State started to take control by turning up the defense, holding Arizona without a field goal for more than five minutes while building a 52-44 lead.
The Wildcats weren’t done just yet. Arizona made four straight shots and the Sun Devils started taking questionable ones, their lead down to 55-54 with seven minutes left.
Arizona point guard Justin Coleman fouled out with five minutes left after Brandon Williams fouled out earlier, leaving the Wildcats without their two primary ball-handers. Arizona State took advantage, stretching the lead to nine in the closing minutes.
Arizona State solidified its NCAA Tournament resume with a hard-fought win in a difficult road environment.
Arizona’s season-long struggles continued, leaving the Wildcats needing a decent run at the Pac-12 Tournament just to get an NIT bid.
Arizona State has an opening-round bye and will start the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday.
Arizona starts the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday.