On Thursday night, against the Washington Huskies, Jermaine Marshall posted his second lowest point total of the season. The senior shooting guard tallied just four points on 2-11 shooting in his first career Pac-12 game.
Against Washington State, Marshall's shot came alive as he posted his second highest scoring total of the season, scoring 26 points in Arizona State's 66-47 route of the Cougars.
"My teammates did a great job of finding me when I was open," said Marshall. "Coach talks about getting the ball to the open guy and fortunately I was the open guy and I made shots."
Marshall scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, shooting 6-9 from the field and 3-5 from 3-point territory in the game's final 20 minutes. After picking up his third foul, Marshall helped spring a 20-4 run midway through the second half that put the Sun Devils' lead out of reach.
"In that timeout when I got my third (foul) I just told myself to relax," said Marshall. "I feel like I got that third foul and I tried to make a play too sudden and I reached. Going into the huddle I just told myself to relax."
Herb Sendek took out Marshall and Shaq McKissic in the first half with foul trouble and Washington State clawed back into the game. When Marshall picked up his third foul in the second half, Sendek stayed with the hot hand.
"Jermaine, throughout his career, has demonstrated the ability to score. He finds ways to get buckets," said Sendek. "When he's doing that our team is a lot better."
Arizona State shot 42-percent from the field and 45-percent from beyond the arc, hitting on 9 of 20 3-point attempts. According to Sendek, his team's shot selection was vastly improved from its last outing against Washington.
"We took shots Thursday night that a bold person wouldn't take in a game of horse," Sendek joked. "I have seen some great horse games at family picnics throughout the years, trick shots and shots under the influence, and they wouldn't even rival some of the shots our team took Thursday night."
McKissic scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and led Arizona State with four assists. Jahii Carson added 14 points, three assists and four rebounds in the victory.
The Sun Devils led by as many as 11 in the first half before the Cougars cut the lead to four at halftime. Arizona State led 36-31 with just over 16 minutes left in the game when the Sun Devils went on a 15-2 run to open the game up, with 13 of those points coming from Marshall.
"They're a good team," said Marshall of Washington State. "You can't take those guys for granted. They push the ball like I see (a lot) of Pac-12 schools do."
The Sun Devils evened up their conference record to 1-1 as they head on the road to play the Los Angeles schools next weekend. And Sendek knows his team has its work cutout for them.
"You look at our league right now and it's incredibly challenging," Sendek said. "We have to continue to try to get better in little ways, each and every one of us, in every way we can."