BY JEFFREY DONLEY, SUN DEVIL ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS
Jermaine Marshall scored 18 points in the second half to lead the Arizona State men’s basketball team to their first conference win of the season Sunday, with a 66-47 victory over Washington State at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils improve to 12-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, while Washington State falls to 7-7 and 0-2 in the Pac-12.
Although the Cougars scored back-to-back three-pointers from Que Johnson to reduce their deficit to two points in the second half, 33-31, Marshall led an 8-0 scoring run to stretch the lead back to 10 points, 41-31, forcing Washington State to call a timeout with 13:55 remaining in the game to break the run and end their scoreless drought of almost three minutes. Marshall scored all eight points for the Sun Devils on the run, capped by a big three-pointer in transition following a Jordan Bachynski block of Royce Woolridge.
The Sun Devils quickly took control of the game with another big run, this time outscoring Washington State 12-2, to take a 53-35 lead into the under-8 official timeout. Arizona State took advantage of rebounding, holding a 37-31 advantage on the glass, and 19 points off Cougar miscues to put together key runs to blow past Washington State.
Marshall finished with a game-high 26 points, and was the key player to spark Arizona State’s offense despite early shooting struggles by the team. Jahii Carson added 14 points and Shaquielle McKissic just missed recording a double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Bachynski created a presence in the paint, tallying six points, six rebounds, and five blocks.
ASU shot a 48-percent clip from the field in the second half to improve its mark to 42-percent on 21-of-50 shooting for the game. Three-pointers were another key advantage for the Sun Devils, as they converted on 45-percent of their chances compared to the 26-percent mark posted by the Cougars. Washington State finished the game shooting 34-percent from the floor.
Arizona State led by as much as 11 in the first half, but Washington State closed the half strong, cutting the lead to four points, 27-23, thanks to a 9-2 run over the final 3:15 of the half. The Cougars held ASU scoreless for most of the run, but McKissic got a layup to fall at the buzzer to end the 3:43 scoreless drought.
Neither squad played particularly well in the first half, with 18 combined turnovers and poor shooting percentages. Arizona State fared slightly better than its opponent, finishing the half shooting 36-percent from the floor and 33-percent from three, but committed 11 turnovers, allowing the Cougars to fight their way back into the game. WSU shot worse, converting 9-of-29 from the floor for a 31-percent clip and 12-percent from long distance.
Johnson had a big day for the Cougars, being the only player on his team to record double-figure scoring, with 18 points. Ike Iroegbu added seven points and Junior Longrus was the top rebounder for Washington State with seven boards.
The Sun Devils will hit the road for their next three games, starting with a contest at USC on Thursday. Tipoff against the Trojans is set for 8 p.m. MT and will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks and 620 AM.
--ASU has now won seven of the past nine vs. the Cougars and leads the series, 39-35, and is 25-13 vs. the Cougars in Tempe.
--Jermaine Marshall is now 39-of-86 (.453) from the three-point stripe on the year.
--Shaquielle McKissic in the past six games is averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, shooting .563 from the floor (27-of-48) and has 15 assists and just three turnovers. He has 33 assists and just four turnovers on the year.
--ASU is 25-5 in the past two seasons at home (9-1 this year) including wins over 2013 NCAA Tournament teams Colorado, UCLA, Marquette and California.
--Jordan Bachynski has 255 blocks in his career, just 23 short of the Pac-12 record of 278 held by Anthony Cook of Arizona (1985-89).
THIS IS A GOOD THING: In the first three seasons of his career (89 games), Jordan Bachynski averaged 6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.03 blocks. This season he is at 12.1 ppg., 9.3 rpg and 4.9 bpg. Jordan has a double-double in eight games, after entering the season with five in his first three seasons. He also needs 24 blocks to set the Pac-12 career mark held by Anthony Cook of Arizona (278 from 1985-89).
PAC-12 CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS
1. 278 – Anthony Cook (Arizona), ’85-89
2. 258 – Channing Frye (Arizona), ’01-05
3. 255 – Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State), ’10-present