ASU men’s basketball falters in Pac-12 opener vs. Washington, 76-65

First impressions are everything.

Whether it was just bad shooting night or a true indicator that it isn’t ready for conference play, it’s safe to guess that the ASU men’s basketball team wants a do-over in its Pac-12 opener on Thursday.

The final score doesn’t reflect how much of a blowout the game was, as the Huskies (9-5, 1-0 Pac-12) had a 24-point lead midway through the second half.

The Sun Devils (11-3, 0-1 Pac-12) shot a horrid 39 percent from the field and got burned on a 30-9 run to close the first half as they fell to Washington, 76-65, in both teams’ first conference game.

ASU couldn’t get anything to fall from anywhere from the floor. The Sun Devils shot a season-worst 2-for-14 from the 3-point line. The offense had trouble flowing as they only had eight assists on 22 made field goals.

Washington, meanwhile, dominated ASU with transition layups. The Huskies kept storming out to the other end of the floor following defensive rebounds as the Sun Devils failed to get back, making it seem like power plays in transition.

The Sun Devils held the Huskies to 5-for-13 from the perimeter and made them shoot a modest 47 percent from the field. ASU also forced 13 turnovers, but its shooting woes and lack of transition defense prevented the Sun Devils from coming back.

ASU redshirt sophomore Jahii Carson finished with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. After finishing with no assists on Dec. 28 against UC Irvine, Carson recorded just one assist against the Huskies.

ASU senior center Jordan Bachynski had 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and five rebounds as he continued to alter inside shots on halfcourt defense. Senior forward Shaquielle McKissic continued his recent groove with a 13-point performance with five rebounds.

Washington junior forward C.J. Wilcox led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting.

There are still 17 games left in the season for ASU with many possible outcomes from this. Either the Sun Devils regroup and bounce back for their Jan. 5 home match against Washington State, followed by their L.A. trip next weekend, or it’s a premonition of a rough conference season to come for ASU.

 

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion