HOOPS: Cougs battle but fall to ASU

COUGS HAD SECOND HALF TROUBLES AGAINST ASU

WASHINGTON STATE PUT a scare into the Sun Devils, closing to within a bucket early in the second half as Que Johnson began raining threes. To that point, WSU had clawed their way back every time ASU threatened to go on an extended run. But after Johnson's three, WSU's defense sagged and ASU settled the issue with a 16-2 run on the way to a 66-47 win in Tempe.

The Cougs just didn't have enough firepower, on offense or defense, to keep pace for a full 40 minutes against Arizona State.

For a little over a half, they made things interesting.

WSU held the Sun Devils to 31 percent shooting in the first half but ASU lit it up from beyond the arc in the second half, hitting 6 of 11 (54.5 percent).

DaVonté Lacy returned to the floor eight days after surgery, only to leave the game midway through the first half. Ken Bone afterwards said it was unclear if Lacy's injury was related to the appendicitis and that he was getting checked out at a local hospital. After Lacy went out, the Cougs hung tough.

Each time ASU threatened to pull away in the first half and early in the second, Washington State came back. At halftime, the Cougs trailed 27-23 and one of the main reasons why was Junior Longrus' scrappy play on the defensive end.

Longrus had four steals, seven rebounds and four points in the game. Five of his rebounds were on the offensive glass.

At halftime, the Cougs trailed 27-23 and one of the main reasons why was Junior Longrus' scrappy play on the defensive end.

But after Johnson's trey cut it to 33-31, WSU went into a funk and never really snapped out of it. A close game became a blowout, though the Cougars battled to the end.

"We had a spell where we could not afford to play poorly and they really capitalized on it," Ken Bone said on the postgame show.

Que Johnson scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half, but the rest of Cougs combined for just nine over the final 20 minutes.

Johnson was 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-6 from downtown.

The Cougars (7-7, 0-2) shot 34 percent from the floor.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Lacy finished with four points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

  • Dexter Kernich-Drew returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game at Arizona. He scored five points on 1-for-6 shooting.

  • Washington State next plays on Wednesday in Spokane against No. 21 Colorado, who handed Oregon their first defeat of the season on Sunday, 100-91. Wednesday's game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
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