Arizona Wildcats react to blowout loss against Washington State

Annette Crawford
February 11, 2019

The Sun Devils (16-7, 7-4 Pac-12) faced what felt like a must-win game after a disheartening loss to Washington State on Thursday night.

The players complained, but the tactic worked. It was Arizona State's best shooting night in a Pac-12 game since 2009. He made four out of 14 from behind the three point line.

Make it an unexpected desert sweep for Robert Franks and the Washington State Cougars. "Guys knew what was at stake, how important this game was".

But the Huskies will have their hands full in the next game against a Cougars team that did what UW was unable to do and won two games in Arizona.

Franks led the team with 20 points at halftime. 3-Point Goals - Washington St. 9-24 (Franks 7-9, Elleby 2-4, Daniels 0-1, Robinson 0-2, Cannon 0-2, Ali 0-4), Arizona 6-22 (Luther 3-9, Smith 2-3, Coleman 1-4, Doutrive 0-1, Jeter 0-1, Randolph 0-1, Barcello 0-3).

The Huskies took away ASU's perimeter game (6 of 17 on three-pointers), forced 24 turnovers and kept the game within reach for most of the night.

"This trip gave us an opportunity to find out who we are", Cougars coach Ernie Kent said. "We were throwing stuff against the wall, seeing what would stick". Washington State is 1-5 ATS in their last six overall and 1-5 ATS in their last six versus the Pac-12. Going 3-16 on three-point shots in the first half and finishing 10-32.

Martin's ability to bypass the initial two defenders at the top of the zone forced the Washington centers into hard situations, and nearly singlehandedly carried the Sun Devil offense in times of desperation and became a defining factor as ASU's lead grew in the second half. Huskies coach Mike Hopkins called a timeout less than a minute into the half, pounding his chest and yelling "Show some heart!" after no one boxed out White on a putback.

Washington went on a 10-0 run to get within 54-47 with about six minutes left, but Arizona State wouldn't let the Huskies any closer to pull out a much-needed win.

There are a number of players responsible for the Huskies' success, but we'll focus on just a couple of them. "Coach told us to dominate the paint and I think we did that".

The Sun Devils played like they needed to in a must-win situation, keeping themselves in the NCAA Tournament conversation.

Washington will look to bounce back next Saturday when they travel to play in-state rival, Washington State. He played 26 minutes and finished with 10 points. Redshirt sophomore forward Romello White led the team with 17 points to go along with his 8 rebounds, all while playing hard-nosed defense on the other end of the floor.

The Huskies have a relatively light week considering their next game is Saturday at Washington Sate.

And Arizona State has a versatile player in Zylan Cheatham, who is able to make good decisions in the high post.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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