(Photo courtesy: ASU Athletics)
It’s important to get off to a solid start in conference play especially against clearly inferior competition. A team needs a proper mentality as more competitive games come fast and furious twice a week. Arizona State (11-3, 0-1) was clearly unprepared and fell to the Washington Huskies (9-5, 1-0) Thursday night 76-65 at Wells Fargo Arena in the first conference game of the season.
Throughout the game ASU struggled, but it was especially apparent in the first half. Despite starting seven of 11 from the field, they finished two of 20 as Washington went on a 22-5 run over the last 11 minutes of the half.
The last Sun Devil field goal of the first half was a Jahii Carson shot with eight minutes and 12 seconds until the break. Meanwhile Washington controlled the pace, forcing ASU to play in the half-court offense, shooting 52 percent in the half of their way to a 40-23 halftime lead.
The Sun Devils seemed to find some life early in the second half as they came out of the gate on a 9-0 run to close the UW lead to just ten points, but C.J. Wilcox led the Huskies which responded with an 8-0 run demoralizing ASU which couldn’t respond.
Washington continued to expand its lead that found its largest margin of 24 points with six minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the game.
The Huskies forced 11 turnovers and capitalized with speed, getting numerous buckets off of poor transition defense by the Sun Devils.
ASU shot just 39 percent from the field and a dismal two of 14 from behind the arc. Jahii Carson led the way for ASU with 15 points and four rebounds. Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall added 13 points a piece in the losing effort.
Washington had 42 of its 65 points in the paint and out rebounded ASU 40-34. Wilcox helped the Huskies’ cause with 17 points followed by Andrew Andrews who had 14 points and three assists in 29 minutes.
ASU faces off against Washington State Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Tempe.
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