Unable to shake a cold, Ty Abbott barely slept Friday night and didn't eat yesterday morning.
Yet, he looked perfectly healthy yesterday afternoon, scoring 19 points to lead Arizona State to a 77-55 rout of No. 17 Xavier in Tempe, Ariz.
"I've felt this bad before, but as far as played this good, no way," said Abbott, who brought a box of tissues to the postgame news conference.
It was ASU's first home victory over a ranked nonconference opponent since Dec. 20, 1980, when the Sun Devils defeated No. 7 Ohio State.
After losing 21 straight games to ranked teams, the Sun Devils (7-2) have won two straight over Top 25 opponents, with the other coming against No. 22 Southern Cal last February.
"How we played today is how we need to play every game," forward Jeff Pendergraph said.
In what is believed to be a first for Arizona State, the Sun Devils started four freshmen - guards Abbott, James Harden and Jamelle McMillan and forward Rihards Kuksiks - to go with Pendergraph, a junior.
Sophomore Jerren Shipp scored 17 points, and Harden added 16 for the Sun Devils. But the biggest star was Abbott, who went 7 for 10 from the floor, including 5 of 8 from beyond the three-point arc.
B.J. Raymond scored 12 points for Xavier (8-2), which had won seven in a row.
"We lost to a better team," said Xavier coach Sean Miller, who was pitted against Herb Sendek, his former boss at Miami of Ohio and North Carolina State. "They took it to us."