TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — A key streak of 3-point shooting – against the best 3-point defense in the Pac-12 – proved the difference for Arizona State.
Shaquielle McKissic scored 17 points and Arizona State made eight first-half 3-pointers in a 73-55 conference win Wednesday night over Oregon State.
“It’s good to make outside shots against the zone,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. “But we didn’t necessarily want to live and die by that. But like we’ve said all along, when the ball is going in, it makes a big difference.”
Gary Payton II had 23 points to lead the Beavers (14-6, 5-3), who had won three straight.
Arizona State (11-10, 3-5) used an 18-3 run early to take a 40-23 lead into the break and extended it to as many as 22 points in winning its third game in the last four. Oregon State never got closer than 15 in the second half.
“We’ve been leading this league in 3-point field-goal percentage playing a large majority of zone — you find shooters, you communicate, you find who is in your area and you get to him,” said Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle. “Tonight we didn’t. We short-closed on guys that stuck them in our face and we lost them in transition.”
Bo Barnes, who hit 3 of 7 from beyond the arc, added 11 points for Arizona State. Four Sun Devils had at least two 3-pointers, including Jonathan Gilling, who made 3 of 6.
“You have to be able to take advantage of how you are being played,” Sendek said.
McKissic wasn’t one of the outside shooters on Wednesday, but that did open up some lanes for the 6-foot-4 forward.
“Jon and Bo get me lots of layups,” McKissic said. “That’s the beauty when guys are knocking down shots, eight in the first half, guys have to stay home.”
Arizona State hit five straight 3-pointers in one stretch to open up a 21-10 lead in the first seven-plus minutes of the game. The Sun Devils made 9 of 24 from beyond the arc on the night.
The Beavers missed 9 of 12 shots during a first-half stretch, trailing 38-18 at that point.
Malcolm Duvivier added 14 points for Oregon State before fouling out with 4:38 left.
“Disappointed in our effort, in our lack of focus, and I thought our leadership out on the floor wasn’t where it’s been,” said Tinkle. “We had too many guys who had off nights. But you can’t have off nights offensively and carry it to the defensive end.”
Barnes, Gilling and Tra Holder all hit at least two 3-pointers in the first half for the Sun Devils, who made 8 of 18 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. Holder, Gilling and Barnes hit the five straight for Arizona State after Gerry Blakes had missed the Sun Devils’ first attempt from outside the arc.
“We’ve gotten better this month, we are improving as a team, we have won three of our last four, but even that aside, just watching our guys, we are getting better and I like what I see. It’s what we expected,” Sendek said.
Blakes had 12 points while Holder added 10 points and four assists.
Arizona State outrebounded Oregon State 35-22.
Oregon State: The Beavers came into the game ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 56.1 points a game. They had not allowed more than 72 points in a game this season. Only two other Division I schools (Cincinnati and New Mexico) have done that so far. … Oregon State beat Arizona State 55-47 in Corvallis, Oregon, on Jan. 8. Oregon State has not beaten Arizona State in Tempe since 2007.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils have won six straight against Oregon State in Tempe and are 26-3 in their last 29 home games. Arizona State lost its first four conference games before winning three of the last four. … Arizona State came into the game having shot 402 3-pointers, second-most attempted in the Pac-12. … Freshman point guard Kodi Justice is out for the season after fracturing his foot in the Sun Devils’ loss at Stanford last Saturday. Justice had played in 18 games, averaging 4.6 points and 1.6 assists. He had hit 17 of 37 from beyond the 3-point line.
Outside of Gary Payton II (11 of 21) and Malcolm Duvivier (6 of 9), the Beavers were 8 of 21 from the field.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT
“We watched a tremendous college basketball player tonight in Gary Payton. He really is extraordinary in how he impacts winning in so many different ways.” — Arizona State coach Herb Sendek.
“In the start of the second half, it was the same thing – we just lost track of shooters, we just lost focus.” — Oregon State guard Gary Payton II.
Arizona State shut down 6-foot-10 forward Olaf Schaftenaar, who was averaging 9.9 points and had 57 defensive rebounds on the year. He was 0 for 2 from the field and had three boards, all on the defensive end in 33 minutes Wednesday.
Oregon State is at No. 6 Arizona on Friday.
Arizona State is host to Oregon on Friday.
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