ASU Basketball: Sun Devils stumble in conference opener, lose to Washington 76-65

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils fell to the Washington Huskies Thursday night 76-65 in Arizona State's conference opener.

The Arizona State men's basketball team has not been able to figure out the Washington Huskies in recent years and that held true in Thursday's 76-65 loss.

The Sun Devils opened the game 7-for-11 from the field, getting high-percentage looks around the basketball from Shaq McKissic and Jahii Carson. However, Arizona State shot just 2-for-20 from the field the rest of the first half and ended the half missing its final nine field goal attempts.

"We got away from our basketball, we didn't hit any of the shots that we normally hit," said Jordan Bachynski. "And sometimes when your shots don't go, everything else seems to fall apart. We didn't play Sun Devil basketball tonight."

The Sun Devils led 16-10 with 15:18 left in the first half, when the Huskies went on a 20-4 run to take a 30-20 lead with under eight minutes left in the half. The final Arizona State field goal of the first half, came with 8:12 left on a jumper by Carson.

"We didn't make each other better," said Bachynski. "It's tough because when you do get down, there is that panic feeling when the ball comes to you and you are just trying to help your team. We have to learn from it and move on."

The Sun Devils finished the game with eight assists on 22 made field goals, the fewest in 120 home games dating back to February of 2007, Herb Sendek's first season in Tempe.

"To get an assist, the guy has to make the shot, sometimes you can make a nice dish and the guy can miss the shot and you get a doughnut," said Sendek. "Give Washington credit, they are a long, athletic team and they did a good job defending us tonight."

The Huskies finished with five players in double figures, led by C.J. Wilcox's 17 points. Andrew Andrews finished the game with 14 points and Perris Blackwell finished with 10 points and tied for a team-high with seven rebounds.

Washington led by as many as 24, dominating the Sun Devils inside and holding key Sun Devils in check all game. Jermaine Marshall finished with just four points on 2-11 shooting. Bachynski finished with five rebounds and Carson tallied just one assist.

The Sun Devils shot  2-for-14 from beyond the arc, with Marshall, McKissic and Jonathan Gilling combining to go 1-for-11 from three-point territory.

"I thought we exercised our worst shot selection of the year," said Sendek. "The poor shots resulted in us being on our heels in some instances with our transition defense and in other cases we were just burned in transition.

The Sun Devils will look for their first Pac-12 victory on Sunday, when Washington State comes to Tempe. Bachynski knowns the team has to put this loss behind them and focus ahead to the rest of their conference schedule.

"We have to take what we can learn from this game and move on. We had a tough game tonight, a tough loss, we have to learn what we can and not lose the next game."

Notes:

  • The defeat moves Arizona State to 1-10 against Washington since 2009, including eight straight losses. The last time Arizona State beat Washington, Rihards Kuksiks led the team in scoring.
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