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Sun Devils take down Cougars


January 30, 2012

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By: Dushan Mladenovic

Arizona State earned a solid team victory with a 71-67 over the Washington State Cougars Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils' hard work paid off down the stretch as they marked their seventh victory of the season. ASU rallied behind the play of Carrick Felix and Chris Colvin, but every player seemed to play a role in today's victory.

With half a minute remaining in the game, the Cougars came down the court looking to tie but a crucial defensive play by Carrick Felix turned the ball over to the Sun Devils. Felix went on to make four of six free throw attempts with seconds remaining to seal the deal, the final free throw putting the Sun Devils up by four with three seconds remaining.

The Sun Devils fell behind early but were able to work a 16-3 run over three minutes in the first half behind the play of Carrick Felix. Felix put up eight points during the run.

The Cougars slowly chipped their way back to make it a 37-36 Sun Devil lead at the half. The first half showed some of ASU's best basketball in their three minute run but also some sloppy play that allowed the Cougars back into the game.

The Sun Devils led for the entire second half, grinding out points and playing solid team defense. Role players such as Jonathon Gilling and Jordan Bachynski stepped up big while Felix and Colvin continued to lead giving the Sun Devils some spark. The defense forced 18 turnovers in the game, 12 of them being in the second half. Their consistent pressure and intensity in the second half propelled them to the victory.

All the Sun Devils seemed to contribute today. Felix scored 20 points and Colvin had 16 points with four assists. Gilling added 10 points and 7 assists. Bachynski put up 11 points in one of the better performances of his ASU career while Kyle Cain had nine.

As a team, they shot 54.5 percent (24-44) from the field and 46.7 percent (7-15) from behind the arc.

Washington State was led by forward Brock Motum. Motum put up 34 points, 14 in the first half, and eight rebounds. Guard DaVonte Lacy followed up with 13 points.

WSU shot 46.9 percent (23-49) from the field, 41.2 percent (7-17) from three.

Through their struggles this season the Sun Devils seem to be showing some resilience and improvement. Today they showed good vision on the court by making smart passes, finding the open man, and playing hard as a team on offense and defense.

Arizona State travels to California next weekend to play Stanford Thursday, February 2nd and California Saturday, February 4th. The Sun Devils' next home stand is February 9th and 11th when Utah and Colorado come to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time as members of the Pac-12.