Washington State’s Noah Williams scored 14 points and Michael Flowers added nine as the duo nearly outscored Arizona State in the Cougars’ 51-29 victory in both teams’ Pac-12 opener Wednesday night in Tempe, Ariz.
Dishon Jackson added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds for Washington State (6-1), which took advantage of Arizona State’s woeful offensive performance to cruise to victory.
The Cougars didn’t play well offensively. They shot 30.5 percent (18-for-59) from the field, including 29.2 percent (7-for-24) from 3-point range. They also made just eight of their 14 free-throw attempts.
The Sun Devils were even worse. Arizona State (2-6), which extended its losing streak to five games, shot 21.1 percent (12-for-57) from the field, including 11.5 percent (3-for-26) from beyond the arc. The Sun Devils went 2-for-8 on their free-throw attempts.
Arizona State was led by DJ Horne’s 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting, with no other Sun Devil scoring more than Kimani Lawrence’s six points. Enoch Boakye didn’t score, but he grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Leading 18-10 at halftime, the Cougars put the game away by opening the second half on a 19-6 run capped by Efe Abogidi’s jumper that gave Washington State a 37-16 lead with 11:40 left in the game.
Washington State, which scored the game’s first 10 points, led the entire first half as the teams combined to go 11-for-53 from the field, including 4-for-25 from 3-point range, and 2-for-13 from the free-throw line. Each team also committed nine turnovers.
The Cougars, led by Williams’ six first-half points, led 18-10 at halftime despite shooting 24.1 percent (7-for-29) from the field, including 2-for-10 from 3-point range. They also struggled at the free-throw line, where they went 2-for-7 (28.6 percent).
Washington State outrebounded the Sun Devils 29-19, a major reason why it outscored Arizona State 10-2 in the paint during the opening 20 minutes.
The Sun Devils were even worse. Horne scored six of Arizona State’s 10 first-half points. The Sun Devils shot 16.7 percent (4-for-24) from the field and 13.3 percent (2-for-15) from 3-point range. They also missed all six of their attempts from the line.