Updated Feb 1, 2013 - 8:43 am
Fork Report: Sun Devils escape Pullman with win
The Good - Jahii Carson. The freshman took control of the basketball game when it was on the line, finishing with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field.
Carson's biggest hoop came with 1:32 left in the game. After senior Carrick Felix sprawled on the floor to out-hustle Washington State's Brock Motum to a loose ball, he found Carson streaking toward the hoop. The former Mesa High Jackrabbit made the layup, was fouled and hit the free throw to give ASU a three-point lead.
Felix struggled offensively for a good portion of the night -- in fact all of his 11 points came in the second half. But as he's done all season long, Felix fueled the Sun Devil effort with his boundless energy. He also had 11 rebounds on the night for his eighth double-double of the season, and third in a row.
And the Sun Devils took great care of the basketball, committing a season-low four turnovers. That tied the mark for the lowest amount of turnovers in a game in the past 26 years.
The Bad - ASU nearly shot themselves out of the ball game early. After Jordan Bachynski's jump shot at the 16:16 of the first half brought the Devils to within two at 6-4, ASU missed their next nine shots over the next 6:55 and found themselves in a 13-4 hole.
Jonathan Gilling continued to struggle on offense, hitting just 1-of-9 shots and only one of his seven three-point attempts. In his last five games, Gilling is shooting just 27 percent (10-of-37) from the floor.
• Senior guard Chris Colvin returned from a three-game suspension and played well for ASU, scoring 6 points and handing out 5 assists with no turnovers in 22 minutes off the bench.
• After Washington State blistered the nets from three-point range (7-of-15) in the first half, the Cougars cooled down after the break. WSU hit just 2-of-8 attempts in the second half.
• ASU is 6-2 in conference play for the first time since 1993-94 and 17-4 overall for the first time since 1980-81.
• ASU used the same starting lineup (Gilling, Felix, Bachynski, Gordon, Carson) for the 21st time this season. Head coach Herb Sendek used 12 different starting lineups last season.
• Only two bench players scored in the game. Colvin had six for ASU while Dexter Kernich-Drew had 10 off of Ken Bone's Washington State bench.
He Said It - "I thought our guys did a good job of taking a punch, not playing our best and then in the second half, we did a much better job of defending the three and came away with a hard-fought win." -- ASU head coach Herb Sendek.
What's Next - The Sun Devils (17-4,6-2) head to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies (12-9, 4-4) Saturday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. UW lost their fourth straight game Thursday at the hands of eighth-ranked Arizona 57-53.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
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