Arizona State holds off Washington State for 58-55 road win
Marreon Jackson and Jalen Graham each scored 14 points for the Sun Devils in Pullman on Saturday and Arizona State held off Washington State for a 58-55 victory.
WSU entered Saturday’s affair ranked inside the NET top-50 and dreaming of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. ASU entered just 2-9 away from Tempe and looking at a two-game slide since upsetting then-No. 3 UCLA.
The Cougars played with desperation, and Arizona State matched it.
The Sun Devils trailed by two points at the halftime break, but opened the second half on a 12-2 run to go up eight. The Cougars had turnovers on each of their first three possessions after the break and missed 10 of their first 11 second-half shots.
As ASU locked in defensively, Washington State endured a stretch spanning the end of the first and beginning of the second where it missed 24 of 26 shots from the field. That included 15 misses from 3-point range.
The Sun Devils held the Cougars to just 16 paint points.
But there would be drama at the end.
Cougar guard Tyrell Roberts made back-to-back triples to pull WSU to within one, 53-52, with 2:53 to play, but his buckets were immediately answered with a trey from Jackson and a jumper from Graham to go back up six.
A traveling violation called on Luther Muhammad With under a minute to play led to a Wazzu 3 to bring the Cougars within one score. Roberts then came up with a steal on Jackson with under 30 seconds left and hoisted a potential game-tying triple that hit the front of the rim and careened off.
With four seconds to play and ASU looking to inbound the ball out of a timeout, DJ Horne threw the ball away. ASU, however, never got a shot off, giving it right back on a cross-court pass intercepted by Muhammad to end it.
Arizona State finished with 19 turnovers to Washington State’s 14. The Cougs also had a 12-point advantage from the long-ball (10 made 3s to ASU’s six). But the Sun Devils managed to survive, and a coach will take a Quad 1 road win any day of the week.
Muhammad added 12 points and eight boards for Arizona State (8-15, 4-9 Pac-12), which shot 56% from the field in the second half. Roberts scored 14 points (4-11 3P) for Washington State (14-9, 7-5 Pac-12). Mouhamed Gueye posted a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. But Flowers, averaging 14 a game this season, was held to just six on nine shots.
The Sun Devils are back in action next Thursday against Oregon at home, with tip-off set for 6 p.m. PT.
Washington State plays the Ducks in Eugene on Monday at 6 p.m. PT.