Mon, 12 Apr 2021

Arizona State maintains lofty hopes, faces WSU twice

Field Level Media
27 Feb 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

With four games remaining in the regular season, Arizona State is going to have to win three just to finish with a .500 record.

But the short-handed Sun Devils haven't conceded their postseason hopes just yet, even though they'd almost certainly have to win the Pac-12 tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Two of those games are against surprising, but up-and-down Washington State. The two against the Cougars (14-11, 7-11) are Saturday and Monday, both in Tempe.

"We're not giving up on our season," ASU forward Kimani Lawrence said. "I know we're short-handed, but there's a lot of basketball to be played and there's still a chance for us to play in the postseason, and that's the goal. So we're just going to take it one game at a time, get some momentum going into the (Pac-12) tournament."

Remy Martin scored 31 points and Lawrence added 21 points and 20 rebounds Thursday as the Sun Devils used an 8-0 run in the final 58 seconds to defeat visiting Washington 80-72.

The Sun Devils (9-11 overall, 6-8 Pac-12) have the two home games against Washington State remaining, plus road games at Colorado and Utah.

The Sun Devils had only seven scholarship players available Thursday against the Huskies, a team they defeated 97-64 two days earlier.

Jaelen House, who played 23 minutes in the opener against Washington, was unavailable because of back tightness, joining Josh Christopher (back), Marcus Bagley (ankle), Taeshon Cherry (personal reasons) and Pavlo Dziuba (COVID-19) on the sidelines.

Seniors Martin and Lawrence took up the slack. Martin's 31 points were a season-high and Lawrence became the first Sun Devils player to ever record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a Pac-12 game.

"He was everywhere, he was all over the court," ASU coach Bobby Hurley said of Lawrence. "So really proud of him, the way he's performed when we've had all these guys out. And he's really taken his game to a different place and it's been very exciting and rewarding as a coach to watch him play at that level."

The Cougars suffered a 69-53 loss Thursday at Arizona despite the return of point guard Isaac Bonton, who had missed the previous three games with injuries to both ankles. Bonton, who was averaging 18.4 points a game, came off the bench to play 19 minutes and finished with just three points on 1-for-5 shooting.

Noah Williams, who was named the Pac-12 and NCAA player of the week after scoring 32 and 40 points in victories over the Bay Area schools, had eight points against the Wildcats on 2-for-15 shooting.

"Just a tough one for us," WSU coach Kyle Smith said. "We actually played pretty hard throughout, but you've got to make shots to win on the road and we didn't shoot well enough."

Washington State was widely projected to finish at the bottom of the league, but one more victory in their two remaining regular-season games or in the Pac-12 tournament would ensure the Cougars their best record since 2012.

--Field Level Media

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