Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

ASU fires on all cylinders in upset victory over No. 21 Washington State

Both sides of the ball shined for the Sun Devils in their upset win against the surging Cougars with strong performances from Gaffney and Selebangue

Sports-washington recap .jpg

ASU freshman guard Braelon Green (2), graduate student forward Alonzo Gaffney (8), junior forward Bryant Selebangue (24) and sophomore center Shawn Phillips Jr. (9) celebrate win against USC at Desert Financial Arena on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024 in Tempe. ASU won 82-67.

The Sun Devils desperately needed a win after a blowout loss to rival No. 4 Arizona and a nail-biting defeat to the Washington. 

No. 21 Washington State Cougars pounced on Arizona this week, and they were coming into Desert Financial Arena with an eight-game win streak. But the Sun Devils withstood the heat and took down the Cougars 73-61 in upset fashion. 

The second half had one name written all over it: graduate student forward Alonzo Gaffney. He stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, four rebounds, an assist, and a block off of the bench. All of his points were in the second half.

Alongside good numbers was a good effort; his lone block in the 2nd half was in crunch time, preventing Wazzu from bringing it to a two-possession game. After the game, Hurley highlighted one play from Gaffney that he appreciated. 

“One of the best things I saw tonight was Alonzo Gaffney missing a layup and continuing to play and fight,” Hurley said. “That symbolized why we were good tonight because he didn’t give up on the play. He took the ball away from them and then went and laid the ball in, so that was a key moment.” 

The Cougars were locked up all game, and the Sun Devils forced nine turnovers in the contest's first half, which helped ASU jump out to an early lead. 

After the win, head coach Bobby Hurley gave props to how the team did on the defensive end of the ball. 

“I thought, possibly the best defense we’ve played of the season," Hurley said. "They’re a handful around the basket with Jones, and they got guys who can shoot and playmakers. They have a really good team.”

At halftime, ASU was up 36-29. This was their first halftime lead since their loss against Stanford on Feb. 1. One of the most impactful players of the first half was junior forward Bryant Selebangue. He had 6 points and 4 rebounds in the first period, two of which were on the offensive side of the ball.

Graduate student guard Jose Perez said Selebangue has been playing exceptionally well recently; he also talked about why he's such a great fit. 

“Bryant’s been playing really good the last two or three games, for real,” Perez said. “He’s played really hard, does his job, doesn’t really need the ball, but he’s going to go out there and do the dirty work. He’s like a Dennis Rodman.” 

This win for the Sun Devils is a big confidence boost heading into a home game against Arizona on Wednesday. After the game, Selebangue talked about an NCAA Tournament run. 

“We have the right pieces,” Selebangue said. “We’ve seen a lot of teams; there’s no team in the Pac-12 we think we can’t beat. We have a lot of guys that can show up … we know we can make a run, we know what each team brings, we know how to scout, we know how to play teams."  

Perez said that before the game, Hurley told them they had to be the “good eggs,” and Perez said that today they were “good eggs.” If ASU can repeat this mindset, there could be a competitive Territorial Cup game in Tempe on Wednesday night. 

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Walker Smith and Shane Brennan

Reach the reporter at and follow @HenryJSmardo on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X.  

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.