Washington State (11-16, 4-14) did start the game countering Arizona State (11-16, 5-13) and its offensive efforts. At the 12:36 mark they even led 14-11. However, the home team didn't allow themselves to fall further behind and with four minutes left in the half they took a 21-19 lead and never looked back. The Devils ended the opening period with a 28-24 lead, and their margin from here on out would only grow. At the 11:08 mark of the second stanza, their lead was in double digits, 47-37, and it was easy sailing until the final buzzer. The Sun Devils were able to send off the 6,245 in attendance, which included its legendary 1979-81 teams who were honored at halftime, with a smile on their faces.
Kevin Kruger had a 20 points and six assists, both game-highs, and led four Sun Devils in double digit scoring. Jeff Pendergraph chipped with 13 points. Lone ASU senior Tyrone Jackson ended his Sun Devil career in impressive fashion. He started the game and played 30 minutes scoring 12 points and missing only one shot from the field. Bryson Krueger had 12 points as well. Serge Angounou was a terror on the boards, grabbing a career high 16 rebounds. ASU had an overall edge of 35-27 on the glass, which included 14 offensive rebounds.
"They have character," said Evans as he described his squad's efforts on Saturday night. "They're a young basketball team and they don't play well every night. This team has been fun for me. They don't mope and moan in practice. We're fighting for the next basketball game. We're fighting to get to the (NCAA) tournament. The Pac-10 tournament is our next assignment. Anytime we have an assignment, I tell those guys I want them to do their very best."
As he did all season long, Evans refused to comment on his future with the school. "We just won a basketball game and I don't talk speculation. I feel like I have been very professional in this deal. For us to win a basketball game like this, I'm very proud of them and that's all I'm gonna talk about."
Next for the Sun Devils is their first game in the Pac-10 tournament, a match-up against Oregon State, which is the only team they have swept this season. Tip-off is Wednesday at 7:10 PM.
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