Sun Devils Notch First Road Win Of The Season

Unlike Thursday's game, ASU wasn't about to award a first conference win to one of its Pac-10 foes. The 81-71 win over the Washington State Cougars was the first road win for The Devils, and prevented ASU from being swept on a conference road trip for the second straight time.

ASU (10-5, 3-3 in Pac-10 play) led for virtually all the first half, and never relinquished it. A 20-9 run by the Devils proved to be a vital blow to the home team. The halftime score was 42-32 in favor of ASU. The closest the Cougars came to closing the gap, was 48-44 early in the second half. However, the Sun Devils were determined not to let their guard down. It was a dominating performance on offense shooting 57.1%, combined with suffocating defense, which limited Washington State to 22.2% shooting. A 38-31 edge in rebounds certainly didn't hurt the cause. Nevertheless, the Devils' 68.2% free throw shooting pailed in comparison with the unconscious 90% free throw shooting by the Cougars. That stat alone prevented ASU from enjoying a more comfortable lead throughout the game.

Junior College transfer Curtis Millage, who has been playing very solid as of late, led the Sun Devils with a career-high 24 points. He was injured during the game, but he did return. Tommie Smith followed a dismal performance on Thursday with 19 points and nine rebounds. The ever-reliable Chard Prewitt had a relatively quiet night in the points department with 13. However, his team-high seven assists and his six rebounds showcased his versatility tonight.

It was a nice victory, which not only salvaged what could be another nightmare of a road trip, but also a triumph that restored the shaken confidence of Rob Evans' squad. Up next for the Devils are the UCLA Bruins who visit Tempe on Thursday. ASU hopes that the Bruins, who upset top ranked Kansas today, will overlook them before their game with Arizona on Saturday.

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