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Blakes and Goodman lead ASU hoops into home stretch

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TEMPE – On Sunday against Washington, Gerry Blakes scored 17 points in just five minutes and 23 seconds in the second half, carrying the Sun Devils to a three-point victory in Seattle.

That performance provided an exclamation point to a three-game run of statistical success for the junior guard and his teammate, sophomore Savon Goodman.

Over the three-game span that began with a court-storming upset win over Arizona on Feb. 7, Blakes is averaging 20.3 points per game and Goodman is averaging 12 rebounds a game.

The Sun Devils won two of the three games, an encouraging sign as the team looks forward to the future.

“We believed our team would get better and they have, because we have two things in place, guys with great attitudes and guys who really work at it,” head coach Herb Sendek said.

Goodman says his increased aggressiveness is a result of his teammates helping him out.

“Me getting open comes off my teammates playing well, me feeding, getting them open and it gets me good looks around the basket,” Goodman said.

With Blakes leading the team in scoring in the last two games,,he is beginning to find his stride.

“Coach has been helping us get in extra shots after practice and all in all it has been helping me build confidence for these games, and take those shots to be more aggressive for our team,” Blakes said.

“It makes us more of a threat, you have Savon Goodman bringing in great numbers and me trying to be a key factor for our team, and I think that’s big,” Blakes said.

Players like Goodman and Blakes will need to continue their high level of play and dedication into the offseason, with three seniors leaving the team, including current team captain Shaquille McKissic.

“They’re going to have a great work ethic in the offseason, they’ll continue to work on their bodies, and most importantly they’ll be in the gym sharpening their skills,” Sendek said.

Although a late season surge has given confidence to the team and coach Sendek, the Sun Devils are .500 in their last 10 games and have a season record of 13-12.

ASU will face the UCLA Bruins on Wednesday night as they wrap up their final six games of the regular season. Before the game the school will raise James Harden’s banner as they retire his jersey at Wells Fargo Arena.