A late run in the first half gave the Sun Devils a cushion, but a rough night from beyond the arc and turnovers eventually doomed ASU 12-12 (4-7) in a 74-71 loss to Washington State 11-13 (5-7) Friday night in Pullman.
The first half was characterized by physical and somewhat sloppy play by both sides. ASU fell behind early and saw their biggest deficit of the half at 25-20 after WSU went on a 7-0 run. After a timeout, the Sun Devils turned the tide, going on a 14-4 run into halftime and holding the Cougars scoreless over the last 3:32 before the break. Perhaps the biggest loss of the game was Bo Barnes to an ankle/foot injury. He missed the rest of the game as announced by the Pac-12 Networks.
WSU came out in the second half with better shot selection and tied the game at 45 with 12:45 to play on a three pointer by Dexter Kernich-Drew. ASU regained the lead but not for long as WSU gained their biggest lead of eight points with just over six minutes left. The Sun Devils made a late push with under two minutes left when two free throws by Gerry Blakes allowed the maroon and gold to pull within two points 68-66. But the Cougars pulled away in the final minute only to have Blakes hit a three at the buzzer.
The Sun Devils were just 5 of 21 from beyond the arc, turned the ball over 15 times and shot 63 percent from the free throw line. Blakes had 24 points on 10 of 21 shooting with six assists. Tra Holder improved again with 14 points and four rebounds. Kernich-Drew starred for WSU with 27 points on 9 of 12 shooting. Davonte Lacy also had 17 points for the Cougars.
Next up for the Sun Devils is a showdown in Seattle on Sunday against the Washington Huskies. That game tips at 3:30 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.