Warren Washington was near-perfect in a 77-71 win for Arizona State (12-3, 3-1 Pac-12) over Washington State (6-10, 1-4) Thursday night in Tempe. When the Sun Devils operate with quality big-man play, anything can happen.
Washington was 9-for-10 from the field, tallying 18 points and four assists. This was his best game, statistic-wise, at ASU. Eighteen points is just three shy of his career-high 21 from Nevada. On the season, he is averaging 8.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.
“It was a concerted effort, especially the way (Washington) was making shots in the first half,” coach Bobby Hurley said. “You almost couldn’t call his number enough. I was happy to see Desmond Cambridge Jr. make his first three shots, DJ [Horne] hit a couple, just had really good contributions from everyone. Luther Muhammad, to play his minutes, nine minutes, nine points, hit a big three, always plays really hard, so I was happy to see him play well.”
Desmond Cambridge added 13 points of his own, including six from his 2-of-4 shooting from behind the arc. No player had more than two turnovers on the night.
“I think we had really good success against their zone, when we hit the high post,” Hurley said. “We were able to go high-low a few times or just make a comfortable jump shot. Alonzo Gaffney had one at the foul line in the first half. That was probably the adjustment that we needed to make, just focus on getting the ball. We were kind of dribbling around a bunch and too stationary, too stagnant on the perimeter.”
The Sun Devils took a 42-36 lead into the halftime locker room, and both teams scored an equal 35 second-half points. What was the difference? One glaring distinction was that Wazzu went 6-for-9 at the free-throw line compared to ASU’s 10-of-15. That total certainly is not ideal for ASU, but the sheer volume dictated that ASU was controlling the paint.
“I think we had one or two more stops,” Hurley said. “I said to the guys at halftime we had our press and they dribbled the ball off their leg and it bounced all the way to someone for three. There were a couple of plays like that.”
ASU wraps-up its mini-run against the Washington schools on Sunday against the Huskies (9-7, 1-4 Pac-12) at 3:00 pm MST at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe.