ASU bounces back with big win over Washington State
TEMPE, Ariz. — The real Arizona State showed up Sunday afternoon, which means Herb Sendek might be able to remove his ogre mask for the time being.
The Sun Devils handled Washington State 66-47 at Wells Fargo Arena for their first Pac-12 victory of the season, using decent shot selection, a stickier defense and Jermaine Marshall’s dominant second half. The victory helped ASU distance itself from a disappointing, uncharacteristic loss to Washington on Thursday.
Marshall had 26 points, the fourth-highest total of his career, and he scored 18 points in a 22-4 run that begin three minutes into the second half. When it was over, ASU had control of the game at 55-35. Marshall scored 15 of those points after picking up his third foul.
"When I got my third, I tried to make a play too sudden. I reached. And going to the huddle, I just told myself to relax. I think that helped me a little bit," Marshall said.
Marshall, who made 9 of 14 field-goal attempts, made three 3-pointers and had an old-fashioned three-point play as part of the run. He also bulled his way to the basket for two layups and hit an 8-footer from the lane.
"You need some guys, maybe three guys at minimum, who can consistently score, and Jermaine is one of those guys for us," Sendek said. "It’s great if you have more. But Jermaine, throughout his career, has demonstrated an ability to score. He finds ways to get buckets. When he is doing that, our team is a lot better."
For ASU (12-3, 1-1), the game was in stark contrast to the 76-65 loss to Washington, a contest in which the Sun Devils shot 39 percent from the floor and trailed by 24 points about with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
Sendek was asked if Marshall, who went 2 for 11 against Washington, got better shots this time.
You need some guys, maybe three guys at minimum, who can consistently score, and Jermaine is one of those guys for us. … He finds ways to get buckets. When he is doing that, our team is a lot better.
ASU coach Herb Sendek
"I think our whole team had much better shots," Sendek said.
"To take worse shots might not be possible, though, than we took on Thursday night. We took shots on Thursday night that a bold person wouldn’t take in a game of horse. We counted 16 ill-advised shots by our team. I’ve seen some great horse games at family picnics through the years. Trick shots and shots under the influence, and they wouldn’t even rival some of the shots that our team took Thursday night.
"After I was an ogre for the last couple of days on the subject, I thought our guys were trying to play the way we had all season. That made me feel better. Inexplicably Thursday, we lost our identity."
Jahii Carson had 14 points and Shaquille McKissic added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Sun Devils, who had a 37-31 rebounding advantage and limited the Cougars to 34 percent shooting from the floor.
ASU will play its next three games on the road, at USC and UCLA in Los Angeles over the weekend before a Feb. 16 game against No. 1 Arizona in Tucson, and Marshall said it was important for the Sun Devils to rebound before their road trip.
"Absolutely. it wasn’t just me. It was our team. Guys are kind of down after the (Washington) game, as you should be for a couple of hours, and then we were right back after it at practice," Marshall said.
Freshman guard Que Johnson, who attended local Windward Prep, had 18 points for Washington State (7-7, 0-2), which scored only 25 points in a 60-25 loss to Arizona in Tucson on Thursday. Cougars leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, averaging 18.9 points a game, had four points in 11 minutes Sunday, playing eight days after an appendectomy. He started but left with 6:22 remaining in the first half and did not return.
After he scored 27 points against Texas two weeks ago, teams recently have been paying more attention to Marshall, who has proved to be a perimeter weapon when teams sag off on Carson’s drives to the basket. Marshall had 10 points against UC Irvine on Dec. 28 but just four against Washington on Thursday.
"They’re just not leaving me. Jahii is driving and they’re not leaving," Marshall said. "I have to make some adjustments in my game, being able to back cut and other things. I have to be able to adjust to what the defense is doing. I’m definitely comfortable gong to the basket."
9 — 3-pointers made by the Sun Devils after they hit a season-low two Thursday. They’re averaging 8.4 a game.
— Jordan Bachynski blocked five shots to give him 255 in his career and move past former USC center Taj Gibson (253) into third place in Pac-12 history. Arizona’s Channing Frye (258) and Anthony Cook (278) are first and second.
— Jonathan Gilling continues to do the little things while he attempts to find his shooting touch. Gilling had one assist, three steals and four rebounds while scoring four points in 26 minutes. He has 30 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists in the last five games.
— The Sun Devils tied a season high with 14 turnovers, but 11 of those came in the first half. They had only three in the final 20 minutes, another contributing factor in their runaway victory.
The Sun Devils are through with the Washington schools for the season, and their trip to Los Angeles next weekend will include their only games against the L.A. schools because of the unbalanced schedule. A case could be made that the Arizona schools are at a bit of a disadvantage by playing those four only once, inasmuch as Washington State and USC may finish 11th and 12th in the league.