Five Things We Learned From ASU’s Northwest Weekend Split

Arizona Sports News online

Herb Sendek and the Arizona State basketball team shook off a second-half letdown against Washington State Friday and managed a weekend state split defeating Washington 68-58 Sunday afternoon in Seattle. After falling to .500 in Pullman the Sun Devils improved to 5-7 in Pac-12 play and 13-12 overall.

Here are five things we learned from the pair of weekend games.

1. A Goodman on the Glass…sophomore Savon Goodman, who played a key role in the Devils upset of Arizona, was the chairman of the boards with game highs against the Cougars (14) and Dawgs (13). Even more impressive, his 12 offensive rebounds were just one less than both WSU and UW combined. He also scored 19 points Sunday and helped pick up the scoring slack with Bo Barnes missing the game with a sprained ankle.

2. Giving Back to Charity…ASU came into Sunday’s game shooting under 67% as a team from the free throw line. Ironically, a marked improvement over their 58.6% effort in Seattle. The Devils, sans lopsided road losses at Arizona and Stanford, have played teams close but with three starters shooting 63% or less from the stripe the margin for error is much smaller coming down the stretch.

3. Buckets By Blakes…as Goodman was taking care of the rebounding junior Gerry Blakes handled the weekend scoring with a team-high 24 in the loss Friday and a game-high 23 against the Huskies. He was 18-34 from the field and connected on 6-14 three-pointers. Impressive numbers for a shooting guard. He scored nine-straight late in the second half Sunday.

4. Stale Danish…senior Jonathan Gilling, one of the top long-range shooters in Sun Devil history, scored just three points in 24 minutes in two games. He was averaging 23 minutes of action per contest. A strong final stretch of conference play from the 6’8 forward would help ASU improve their position heading into the Pac-12 tournament next month in Las Vegas.

5. Leading By Example…no Sun Devil logged more game minutes (75) than senior Shaquielle McKissic who would have played even more had he not fouled out against UW. He struggled shooting but still averaged 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. It’s hard to measure all the things McKissic does which never show up in the box score.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.