Losing iPod starts bad day for Cougars
Hope of an NCAA tournament at-large berth was done in by another Washington State lackluster first half, a Cougars rally that got over the hump but slipped back, too many missed free throws and, ultimately, a 71-69 Arizona State victory.
No more talk about an NCAA tournament at-large berth.
That hope died an ignominious death Saturday, a demise witnessed by just 5,153, many of whom probably came expecting to see Arizona State extend its 11-game Pac-10 losing streak.
Instead, that also was buried.
It was done in by another Washington State lackluster first half, a Cougars rally that got over the hump but slipped back, too many missed free throws and, ultimately, a 71-69 Arizona State victory.
"It feels like it right now," WSU coach Ken Bone said when asked if it was the worst defeat of the season.
Asked what it would take to revive the Cougars' at-large hopes, Klay Thompson made a sound that sounded suspiciously like a bubble bursting, then said, "Take it game by game. That's all we can do. ... If we dwell on (the loss) it will just snowball."
Thompson, with 24 second-half points, had the biggest hand in the comeback for WSU (17-10, 7-8 Pac-10), which overcame a 16-point deficit two minutes into the second half.
But he also played a role in the Cougars' glacial start, benched for the first 5 minutes, 47 seconds because he was late for the team bus.
"I lost my iPod, so I was stressing there," he said.
The Cougars also were without second-leading scorer Faisal Aden, sent home early to begin rehabilitation on a balky left knee that flared up again Friday. ASU (10-16, 2-12) was missing even more, with senior starters Ty Abbott (shoulder) and Rihards Kuksiks (ankle) out.
But the freshmen — Chanse Creekmur and Corey Hawkins — Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek inserted into his starting lineup for the first time injected an energy WSU didn't match.
"We didn't come out ready to play and it might have cost ourselves, but you can't put it on that," said Abe Lodwick. "There were still 20 minutes left in the second half and we couldn't get it done."
Lodwick had a shot to win the game, but he missed a 23-footer at the buzzer.
"I'll take a wide-open look for Abe any day. You can't blame it on one shot," said Thompson, who took a career-high 28 of them — hitting 11, including 4-for-12 three-point attempts, to get his game-high 28 points.
Some blame can also be placed on the Cougars' 10 missed free throws in the second half.
Despite the lethargic, error-plagued first half — WSU had 12 turnovers and ASU hit 51.9 percent — and despite the free-throw problems, an aggressive attitude brought the Cougars back. That, and Thompson hitting 7 of 9 shots in one stretch.
ASU had a 68-62 lead, but in the final 46 seconds it missed 3 of 6 free throws. WSU took advantage, with Thompson nailing a three-pointer and a two-pointer and Lodwick hitting two free throws. That set the stage with 5.8 seconds left.
Reggie Moore drove but got cut off, so he kicked it out to an open Lodwick.
"Try to find Klay, but drive and try to find the open situation," Bone said of the final play. "Can't ask for a whole lot better. Abe had hit three. He might have been the best guy to get it to, really. Had a pretty good look."
"I thought it was in," Lodwick said.
WASHINGTON ST. (17-10) — Motum 2-6 1-2 5, Casto 4-7 4-8 12, Lodwick 3-5 2-2 11, Capers 0-0 1-2 1, Moore 3-9 4-7 12, Thompson 11-28 2-2 28, DiIorio 0-2 0-2 0, Winston Jr. 0-0 0-0 0, Simon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 14-25 69.
ARIZONA ST. (10-16) — Cain 3-3 0-0 6, Creekmur 6-9 1-2 18, Hawkins 1-6 0-0 3, McMillan 3-8 1-1 8, Lockett 6-10 7-9 20, Felix 1-2 0-0 2, Bachynski 0-0 0-0 0, King 2-6 5-6 10, Pateev 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 24-47 14-18 71.
Halftime — Arizona St. 40-28. Three-point goals — Washington St. 9-21 (Thompson 4-12, Lodwick 3-5, Moore 2-4), Arizona St. 9-24 (Creekmur 5-8, Lockett 1-1, King 1-3, Hawkins 1-5, McMillan 1-6, Felix 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Washington St. 33 (Casto 10), Arizona St. 31 (Lockett 8). Assists — Washington St. 15 (Capers, DiIorio, Lodwick, Thompson 3), Arizona St. 16 (Hawkins 6). Total fouls — Washington St. 19, Arizona St. 24. Technicals — Casto, King. A — 5,153.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.