Devils Cruise Past Cougars 87-54

Need to cure the blues after a bitter home loss? Washington State is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Sun Devils dominated the Cougars tonight, and restored some of their confidence that was lost in the last couple of weeks.

Ike Diogu recorded his third straight double double of the season scoring 26 points and grabbing ten rebounds – both game highs. The freshman center also had two blocks to his credit. Tommy Smith shook off the scoring drought that has plagued him the last three games, pouring in 17 points and leading the team in steals with three. Curtis Millage and Jamal Hill each had 11 points, and for Hill this performance was crucial to bring him out of his long stretch of sub par games. Kyle Dodd did an excellent job guiding the offense, distributing six assists and committing no turnovers.

ASU's shooting tonight in Pullman was in sharp contrast to the frigid degrees outside the arena. The Devils sizzled to the tune of 65.4% from the field, and more amazingly for the worst three point shooting team in the conference – shot 72.7% (8-11) from behind the arch. Another Achilles heal for the Devils, free throw shooting, was never an issue tonight for Coach Evans' team, as they shot 78.6% (11-14) from the charity stripe. The Devils really cranked their defensive intensity in the second half, limiting the Cougars to only 18 points. As indicative by the final score, ASU dominated the boards, out rebounding the home team 26-16.

Beating a team that has yet to notch a victory in Pac-10 play can be fairly labeled as a no win situation. Nevertheless, tonight's game can do wonders to the somewhat fragile moral that the team is experiencing these days. This win inched the team one step closer to a spot in the NCAA tournament, but hardly prepared them for Saturday's opponent – Washington. The Huskies are a dangerous team at home, and their narrow overtime loss to Arizona tonight just further enhances their image. If Arizona State earns a road sweep in the Evergreen state, it will be a well-deserved one.

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