Sun Devils looking to parlay victory into winning streak

Feb 22, 2011, 10:48 PM | Updated: 11:50 pm

TEMPE – Arizona State will be looking to build some momentum heading out on a California road trip after snapping their nine-game losing streak.

The Sun Devils broke their 11-game Pac-10 losing streak when they defeated Washington St. 71-69 on Saturday.

“These guys have been battling and battling and some hard work finally paid off. We got one and I think it could take off,” said senior Jamelle McMillan after practice on Tuesday.

Coach Sendek was most impressed that his team was able to keep its poise after blowing a 16-point lead in the second half.

“A lot of times when you lose momentum like that, it’s really hard to reverse the tide,” said Sendek on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show on Tuesday.

“We were a team that would have been very easy at that point for us to say, ‘Uh oh, here we go again.’ For our team to overcome those circumstances was a real testament to their character,” said Sendek.

Even more impressive, the Sun Devils were buoyed by the play of three freshman: Chanse Creekmur, Keala King and Corey Hawkins.

“All those guys played with good energy throughout the game. They played great basketball and contributed in important ways for us,” said Sendek.

McMillan specifically had high praise for Creekmur, who in his first start, scored a career-high 18 points which included hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range.

“He’s up there with the best of them. The kid can put the ball in the basket,” said McMillan.

Still, the Sun Devils’ coach doesn’t want the team to get too caught up with the win.

“It does provide you that momentary thrill and you feel good about it, but the next game is pouncing on you so you got to get ready again,” said Sendek.

ASU will head out on their last conference road trip when they take on UCLA (19-8, 10-4) on Thursday and USC (15-12, 7-7) on Saturday.

ASU (10-16, 2-12) may be without seniors Ty Abbott (shoulder) and Rihards Kuksiks (ankle), both of whom missed the win over Washington State.

Both have also yet to return to practice.

“They are getting better, but at this point I don’t know if they’ll be able to play and if they do to what capacity they’ll be well,” said Sendek.

For now, the team just needs to try and finish out the season strong.

“For us it’s all about victories at this point. We’re nowhere close to any type of tournament,” said McMillan.

Arizona Sports Craig Grialou contributed to this report.

Arizona State Basketball

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, right, and guard Frankie Collins pause near the team bench during...
Jake Anderson

After contract extension, ASU’s Bobby Hurley wasting no time building toward future

ASU men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley has had very little time to celebrate his two-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season.
1 day ago
Arizona State's Austin Nunez (2) pushes away from UCLA's Jaylen Clark (0) during the second half of...
Arizona Sports

ASU freshman Austin Nunez entering transfer portal

Arizona State guard Austin Nunez will enter the transfer portal after playing a reserve role as a freshman for the Sun Devils.
1 day ago
Miles Byrd #21, Demarshay Johnson Jr. #11 and Elijah Saunders #25 of the San Diego State Aztecs run...
Associated Press

San Diego State holds off Creighton to advance to Final Four

SDSU muscled its way into its first Final Four, grinding out a 57-56 victory over Creighton on Sunday in the Elite Eight.
3 days ago
Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada. (Instagram Photo/@jadenrashada)...
Arizona Sports

State of the Sun Devils podcast: Could QB Jaden Rashada start for ASU in 2023?

On the latest episode of State of the Sun Devils podcast, the guys broke down ASU's quarterback competition at 2023 spring ball practice.
4 days ago
Florida Atlantic players celebrate after defeating Kansas State in an Elite 8 college basketball ga...
Associated Press

Florida Atlantic punches ticket to Final Four with upset win over Kansas State

Florida Atlantic had never won an NCAA Tournament game prior to this season. Now in its second-ever tourney trip, FAU is Final Four bound.
4 days ago
Devan Cambridge #35 of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts after his dunk against the TCU Horned Fr...
Arizona Sports

Devan Cambridge announces return to ASU basketball for final season

Arizona State forward Devan Cambridge announced on Friday he is returning to Tempe for his final season of eligibility.
5 days ago
Sun Devils looking to parlay victory into winning streak