Offense Fails Sun Devils in Pullman

Ironically, the 59-47 loss to Washington State probably doesn't do ASU justice. Despite shooting 33.3% for the game, the Sun Devils never trailed by double digits until the last 30 seconds of the game. The maroon and gold missed a golden opportunity for a quality win that would inch them closer to the NCAA tournament.

Arizona State (16-9, 6-7 Pac-10) scored first in the game, and ultimately the 2-0 lead was their only one all night. Washington State (21-5, 9-5) never ran away with the score, and midway through the first half had a 19-12 edge. Rihards Kuksiks scored beyond the arc to tie the game at 26 apiece with 2:49 left in the period. The Sun Devils were scoreless the rest of the half, and the Cougars, while not lighting up the scoreboard themselves, managed to go to the locker room ahead 30-26.

In the second half the visitors were held to just one field goal the first six minutes, as the Cougars built a 39-30 lead. Jerren Shipp helped ASU cut down that deficit, but the rest of the ASU offense didn't take advantage of the Cougars scoring just one field goal and just six points in five minutes and still trailed 43-45 following three free throws by James Harden at the 5:31 mark.

ASU would score just four points until the final buzzer sounded, while Washington State converted 7 out of 10 free throws.

Harden, who paced the Sun Devils in scoring, was held to just 10 points on 3-11 shooting from the field. Jeff Pendergraph led all players al the floor with eight rebounds and there blocked shots and added eight points. ASU was 6-25 from long range and committed 13 turnovers. Derrick Low was the high scorer for the hosts with 15 points.

Up next for ASU is a visit to Seattle and the Washington Huskies who upset Arizona tonight 75-66. A loss on Saturday afternoon could make finishing 9-9 in the conference, a perquisite for even being considered on the tournament bubble, all but improbable. All in all, it's desperation time for the Devils.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories