ASU big Warren Washington breaks out in win over Alcorn State

Nov 27, 2022, 7:09 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2022, 12:16 pm
Arizona State's Warren Washington dunks the ball in front of Virginia Commonwealth's Jamir Watkins,...

Arizona State's Warren Washington dunks the ball in front of Virginia Commonwealth's Jamir Watkins, center, and Brandon Johns Jr., right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Legends Classic Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

TEMPE — The Arizona State men’s basketball team so far has had the Frankie Collins game, the D.J. Horne game and the Austin Nuñez-Desmond Cambridge Jr. game.

However, Sunday’s 76-54 win over the Alcorn State Braves (3-4) was the Warren Washington game.

The 7-footer was the most dominant force for the Sun Devils and scored a team-high 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded an assist.

“He’s a big target,” head coach Bobby Hurley said after the game. “Him and [Alonzo Gaffney] could really climb the ladder and go get the ball.

“We outran their bigs, and Warren was definitely a part of that so I was happy to see him put another solid game together for us.”

Washington and Gaffney also made their marks defensively with two blocks apiece, helping the Sun Devils hold the Braves to a 27.1% night from the floor.

Take away guard Dekedran Thorn’s 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and Alcorn State shot just 12-for-63 (19%) as a team.

“We take pride in defense and we work on it every day in practice,” Gaffney said. “We’ve got a lot of length and athleticism on this team so we expect to block shots.”

The Sun Devils recorded nine blocks and forced 10 turnovers en route to their third consecutive win by at least 20 points.

“I feel like it’s just credit to all the attention to detail we’ve put in on defense coming up to this point,” Washington added. “I feel like we have all five guys on the court wanting to play defense.”

ASU’s 6-1 record marks the program’s best seven-game start since beginning the 2018-19 season 7-0.

That team went on to the NCAA tournament.

They’ve performed well on both ends of the floor and are doing it as a team this season. Sunday’s win was the second consecutive game the Sun Devils reached the 20-assist plateau after doing so just twice last year.

From a scoring standpoint, ASU got 14 from Devan Cambridge and 11 from Collins. Gaffney added 10 off the bench.

“The group of guys we have, we’re all unselfish,” Washington said. “We’re all at a point of our careers where we just want to win. It speaks to the character of our team.”

The Sun Devils need to continue to play unselfishly moving forward, as their next game, at Colorado (4-3) on Dec. 1, marks the early portion of conference play.

“We’re really excited [to start conference play],” Gaffney said. “I feel like these games were great games to get us ready.

“We’re just ready to go.”

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