Arizona State drops fourth straight as season reaches critical juncture
Arizona State is officially reeling.
The Sun Devils lost their fourth straight game on Saturday, falling on the road to Washington State 75-58. The loss dropped ASU to 6-5 in Pac-12 play and down to sixth in the conference standings.
Frankie Collins had 16 points and Desmond Cambridge Jr. added 15 points, but the Sun Devil offense never found its rhythm. The group was held to 34% shooting for the game and missed 11 of their first 16 shots.
Washington State’s Andrej Jakimovski scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Cougs. Justin Powell added a season-high 20 while Mouhamed Gueye recorded his second consecutive double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Cougs defend their home court 💪
Andrej Jakimovski's career-high 22 points lead @WSUCougarMBB past Arizona State in Pullman. Full highlights ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/Juu95QZhcw
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) January 29, 2023
Washington State (10-13, 5-7 Pac-12) entered the evening averaging a Pac-12-leading 8.4 makes from 3-point range per game and shooting 35.7% from behind the arc (second-best in the conference). But the Cougars were cold to open as well, making just two of their first 12 triples.
The Sun Devils fought to a 12-11 lead midway through the first half.
Then Powell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Cougars a lead they’d keep the rest of the way. Jakimovski added a trio of triples to power a 19-4 spurt. DJ Rodman converted a traditional three-point play and Gueye splashed another 3 to give the Cougars a 15-point lead. ASU’s Devan Cambridge knocked in a triple of his own to make it 36-24 at halftime.
Collins scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, trying to draw the Sun Devils back into it. Defense picked up the intensity on the other end and Wazzu went nearly seven minutes with just one make from the field. And a 14-6 run from Arizona State trimmed the deficit to just five with 6:45 to play.
But Jakimovski had an answer. A triple 27 seconds later broke the tide and ASU never got the margin under seven the rest of the way.
The Cougars head to Los Angeles next week. They face USC on Thursday (8 p.m. PT, FS1).
Arizona State moved off the bubble entirely in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology for ESPN with the loss. A team that looked like a strong option for an at-large bid just a couple weeks ago will now need to string some wins together going forward. The Sun Devils return home to host Oregon State next Thursday at 5 p.m. PT.