Arizona State men turn back Washington State to snap 2-game skid
Washington State may have come to Desert Financial Arena with a losing record. But coach Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils were more than aware of the potential the Cougars possess. Just last week Washington State beat USC by double digits and lost to No. 10 UCLA by just one point.
So Hurley was pleased his team emerged with a 77-71 victory over Washington State in Pac-12 play Thursday night. That also means the Sun Devils (12-3, 3-1) improved to 6-1 this season in games decided by six points or less.
ASU led wire to wire but the victory was a hard-fought one. The Sun Devils led as many as 12 at 64-52 with 9:24 to play and were still up by double digits at 69-58 with 6:14 to go.COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Scoreboard | Statistics | Standings
But the Cougars (6-10, 1-4) hit some big 3-pointers and benefited when ASU twice missed the front end of a one-and-one at the line in the last two minutes.
They turned in one of their better offensive performances, shooting 55.4% (31-for-56), although they were just 5-for-17 from long distance and 10-for-15 from the line. ASU also registered 18 assists, had eight steals and finished with a 36-28 advantage in points in the paint.
Washington State shot 42.9% (27-for-63) and finished with a 35-32 advantage on the boards.
Washington State got in striking distance at 69-66 on a 3-pointer by Jabe Mullins with 4:15 left to play with that score part of an 8-0 run. The teams exchanged misses and the Cougars had a chance to get within one when D.J. Rodman went to the line with 3:15 to play.
He missed the front end of a one-and-one and ASU's Warren Washington grabbed the loose ball.
The Sun Devils then converted at their end with Devan Cambridge scoring on a dunk off an alley-oop pass from D.J. Horne with 2:33 to go, making it 71-66.
D.J. Horne scored on a floater for a 73-66 lead and Washington later had a dunk after a Cougar turnover to put ASU up 75-66 with 1:22 left. The Sun Devils hung on from there.
Washington scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field. That 18 points tied a season-high. He was 8-for-8 from the field in the first half.
Two other Sun Devils also finished in double figures as Desmond Cambridge and Horne tallied 13 and 12 respectively. Luther Muhammad added nine off the bench. It was a bit of irony when it came to the leaders in some other categories. Point guard Frankie Collins had a team-best seven rebounds, five more than the big man Washington who led the team in assists.
Rodman had 16 points and 12 rebounds while Mullins had a team-high 19 for the Cougars with his total including five 3-pointers.
"It's as good as we've played offensively and I think it could have been a little better. I think we had a couple of good looks throughout the course of the game. I thought we moved the ball well. Got some good work done in the paint again. A lot of good stuff on the offensive end. It's good to get back to the feeling of winning a basketball game after having two tough losses." — ASU coach Bobby Hurley
"We're a deep team. I feel like everyone has to come in play hard and contribute when their number is called. I don't want to get too high or too low, just stay level and continue to work hard and try to get win after win after win." —Luther Muhammad on the team depth and contributing off the bench
"You got to weather the storm. You have to trust your teammates on defense and on offense. That's where you really got to lock in. I feel like today we weathered the storm. It was all-around a great team win for everybody. We have to build off this and keep it going. —Warren Washington
The Sun Devils will host Washington (9-6, 1-3) in a 3 p.m. game on Sunday. Washington played at No. 5 Arizona Thursday night.