Fork Report: ASU grabs first conference win behind Marshall’s big day
TEMPE, Ariz. — After Thursday’s loss to Washington, ASU coach Herb Sendek vented on the Sun Devils’ passing and shot selection.
After Sunday’s game against Washington State, Sendek was in a slightly more jovial mood.
Arizona State rebounded from perhaps its worst showing of the season, topping the Cougars 66-47 Sunday in Wells Fargo Arena for its first Pac-12 win of the season despite a sluggish start.
The ASU lead was cut to as little as two in the second half, but the Sun Devils (12-3, 1-1 Pac-12) responded with a 20-4 run — thanks in large part to 16 points from Jermaine Marshall — to pull away for good. Marshall finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
Washington State (7-7, 0-2) continued to struggle offensively, missing several point-blank looks at the basket. The Cougars shot just 34 percent from the field and 26 percent from 3-point range while getting to the free throw line only 10 times.
Here’s a closer look at ASU’s first conference win of the season:
Marshall’s best game in an ASU uniform came at a great time for the Sun Devils. The senior transfer from Penn State emerged as a reliable shooting threat for ASU after struggling from outside in the Sun Devils’ Pac-12-opening loss to Washington.
Jahii Carson was his typical self on his way to 14 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Shaquille McKissic added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. ASU limited Washington State to just six fast break points.
The Sun Devils connected on 9 of 20 shots from 3-point range, thanks to Marshall’s 4-of-7 effort. Carson hit two of his four 3s, and ASU displayed much better ball movement and shot selection. The Sun Devils assisted on 12 of 21 baskets — much improved from assisting on 7 of 22 against Washington.
Both teams started sluggish offensively and finished with more turnovers than assists, though the Sun Devils responded much better than Washington State did.
ASU continued to get limited production from its bench, as it combined for just eight points, nine rebounds and two assists. The Sun Devils weren’t able to turn strong defense into easy baskets, scoring just two fast break points.
Turnovers were again an issue, as ASU’s 14 matched a season high.
“You need some guys — maybe 3 guys at minimum — who can consistently score. It’s great if you have more, you’re that much more difficult to defend. Jermaine has demonstrated the ability to score. When he’s doing that, we’re a lot better.” – Sendek on ASU’s offense.
Stat of the Game
Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski’s four blocks moved him into third on the Pac-12’s all-time block list with 254. Former Arizona center and current Phoenix Sun Channing Frye is second on the list with 258.
– Marshall scored 18 second-half point, including stretches that saw him go on an 8-0 individual run and score 16 of 18 ASU points. He finished with 26 — his highest-scoring game in his first season with the Sun Devils.
– ASU improved to 12-0 when shooting better than 40 percent from the field. The Sun Devils have shot worse than 40 percent in each of their three losses.
– Washington State guard DaVonte Lacy, the team’s leading scorer, returned to action for the first time since undergoing surgery for appendicitis eight days ago. Lacy scored four points before leaving the game toward the end of the first half.
– Carson and Marshall combined for 40 of the Sun Devils’ 66 points.
Arizona State travels to USC to take on the Trojans at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Galen Center.