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ASU basketball: No. 25 Sun Devils hold off Washington State for 88-78 win

Another split.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils (17-6, 5-6 Pac-12) dodged disaster by pulling away in the final six minutes to defeat the Washington State Cougars (9-13, 1-9) by a score of 88-78 on Super Bowl Sunday.

ASU trailed for 17 minutes throughout the game, including most of the first half, before taking a 40-38 lead at halftime.

That lead grew to 11 at 51-40 with 16:57 to play. Then, WSU outscored the Sun Devils 19-8 in the next five minutes to tie it up at 59. It’d stay close deep into the game, even at 72-72 with 5:53 to play, before ASU closed out the game on a 16-6 run, winning 88-78.

Shannon Evans led the floor, scoring 23 points with five assists, while Tra Holder scored 20 on 8-of-13 shooting. Romello White, however, had his biggest game in Pac-12 play. After posting a double-double in a loss to Washington, White tallied 22 points with nine rebounds, scoring his most since Dec. 8 against St. John’s.

Arizona State shot 70 percent in the second half and 55 percent overall to run away from the Cougars who were out-rebounded 30-27 and outscored 50-24 in the paint.

The Sun Devils’ defense, though, was what ultimately won them the contest. ASU won the turnover battle 12 to 18, earning 34 points off turnovers compared to Washington State’s 14. Arizona State had 10 steals over WSU’s six.

This marks the fifth conference weekend split for Arizona State who next faces second-placed in the Pac-12 USC Trojans (17-7, 8-3) on Thursday and the fourth-placed UCLA Bruins (16-7, 7-4) on Saturday in Tempe.