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24th ranked Arizona State drops PAC-12 conference opener

(Photo Credit: Steve Rodriguez/Sun Devil Athletics)

Last year, Washington State swept Arizona State in each of their three meetings. Friday, on a chilly night in Pullman, the Cougars (7-6, 1-0) pulled out another one, besting the Sun Devils (11-2, 0-1) 85-78 in the conference opener for both schools.

No. 24 Arizona State was coming off a recent win against No. 20 Syracuse, and riding a 10-game winning streak coming into the game.

The Sun Devils started out strong, opening up a 15-4 lead before WSU began chipping away.

Joy Burke scored to make it 23-12 ASU with about eight minutes left in the first half, but a series of Sun Devil fouls shifted momentum to the Cougars, who eventually took the lead three minutes later, on the heels of an 18-5 run of their own.

ASU eventually calmed things down near the end of the half and scored the final two buckets to take a 38-34 lead into the locker room.

The second half was back and forth early on, but it was Washington State eventually taking control about seven minutes in. WSU’s largest lead was only seven, but the Sun Devils just couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch, missing a couple key three-point attempts late. Free throw shooting proved to be costly for ASU in this one. They went just 28-for-43 from the charity stripe, and could not capitalize on three Cougars fouling out.

The Cougars were led by Lia Galdeira’s 27 points. Tia Presley added 17.

Kelsey Moos led Arizona State with 17 points, with Burke and redshirt senior guard Deja Mann contributing 11 each.

The Sun Devils try to earn a road split Sunday when they take on Washington in Seattle.

You can reach Katy Burge on Twitter @katyburge133 or via email at

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