Fork Report: ASU opens Pac-12 play with ugly loss to Washington
Arizona State had shown during its non-conference schedule that it’s a much-improved team, but Thursday’s Pac-12 opener against Washington didn’t go quite as planned.
Washington’s C.J. Wilcox scored a game-high 17 points, freshman guard Nigel Williams-Goss showed why he was highly recruited out of high school and the Huskies (9-5, 1-0 Pac-12) dismantled ASU 76-65 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Sun Devils (11-3, 0-1) were rarely competitive after the game’s first few minutes. They shot 10 percent over the last 10 minutes-plus of the first half, and just once got the score within 10 points in the second half before the Huskies answered with an 8-0 run.
Here’s a closer look at the Sun Devils’ first home loss of the year and worst since losing to the Huskies by 12 in last season’s conference finale:
Very little went well for ASU.
Jordan Bachynski was able to convert for 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, though most of those were easy looks around the rim. The 7-foot-2 center was able to alter shots at several points in the game, recording six blocks, though he was ineffective for large stretches.
Jahii Carson was ASU’s only reliable offensive threat for much of the night, but even he had an off-night shooting the ball. Still, the sophomore guard didn’t force shots that weren’t available like he may have a year ago.
The Sun Devils ended the first half missing 18 of 20 shots as UW’s lead ballooned to 17 at the break. ASU shot just 38.6 percent while Washington shot 47 percent and scored 42 points in the paint.
Both teams struggled to find offense in half-court sets. ASU assisted on just eight of 22 field goals, and many of Washington’s points came at the rim after ASU defensive breakdowns. The Sun Devils shot just 2-of-14 from 3-point range, a 14.3 percent clip.
It took ASU’s bench until the 11:46 mark of the second half to get on the scoreboard on Egor Koulechov’s fast break layup.
The Sun Devils allowed five UW players to score in double figures, though the highest total in the group was Wilcox’s 17.
“When you get down early, there is that panicked feeling. We don’t have bad guys but when you get the ball, you want to help your team. It’s a tough situation.” – ASU center Jordan Bachynski on the Sun Devils’ shot selection after falling in an early deficit.
Stat of the Game
ASU assisted on just eight of its 22 baskets, the Sun Devils’ fewest assists in a game this season and fewest at home since February 2007.
– The loss marked ASU’s eighth consecutive to Washington, dating to a 17-point home win on Jan. 8, 2010.
– ASU forward Shaquielle McKissic hit his first three shots of the game and scored seven points in the first four minutes but finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
– Washington and ASU traded big runs to start the second half … the Sun Devils used a 7-0 run to get the game within 10 points before Washington used an 8-0 spurt of its own to pull away for good.
– ASU point guard Jahii Carson has just one assist in the Sun Devils’ past two games after recording 13 in their previous game.
The Sun Devils return to action Sunday, when they host Washington State at 4 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.