TEMPE, Ariz. — Just when Arizona State sorely needed some offense, Jermaine Marshall provided it.
That’s just what he came to Tempe to do.
The graduate student transfer from Penn State scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, and Arizona State pulled away to beat Washington State, 66-47, on Sunday.
Jahii Carson had 14 points, and former Kentridge High School standout Shaquielle McKissic finished with 12 for the Sun Devils (12-3 overall, 1-1 Pac-12 Conference). They were coming off a 76-65 home loss to Washington in their conference opener.
Marshall was 2-for-11 shooting for four points against the Huskies on Thursday. But he was 9-for- 14 on Sunday, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range.
“It was great, what I work hard for,” he said. “Coach (Herb Sendek) does a great job of keeping us after practice and getting up shots. It just shows that hard work pays off.”
Former Curtis High School standout DaVonté Lacy, WSU’s leading scorer, was back in the lineup eight days after an appendectomy but left with 6 minutes, 23 seconds to go in the first half and did not return. Lacy finished with four points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.
“We need him on the court, and he’s a big piece of what we do, especially on the offensive end,” Cougars coach Ken Bone said, “and we are paying the price.”
Freshman Que Johnson scored 18 for WSU, which scored 68 points combined in two games in the desert.
The Cougars (7-7, 0-2) shot 34 percent three days after their worst offensive showing in 76 years, a 60-25 loss to top-ranked Arizona on Thursday night.
Just after drawing his third foul, Marshall scored 16 points — including three 3-pointers — during an 18-3 run that opened the game up for the Sun Devils, 51-33, with 10:55 to play. Arizona State eventually led by 23. Before that, the Cougars made it close.
Arizona State used a 13-3 run to go up 23-12 on Carson’s driving bank shot with five minutes left in the first half.
But the Cougars scored nine in a row to cut it to 25-23 with 34.6 seconds before the break. McKissic’s tip-in just before the buzzer put the Sun Devils ahead at halftime, 27-23.
Barely two minutes into the second half, Carson’s 3-pointer put Arizona State up, 33-25, but Johnson sank consecutive 3s for the Cougars to slice it to 33-31 with 17:09 to play.
Marshall scored the game’s next eight points with a three-point play, a drive to the basket and a 3-pointer, putting Arizona State up, 41-31, with 14:03 to go.
His 26 points were his most at Arizona State and three shy of his career high set for Penn State against Michigan State on Jan. 16.
“Jermaine, throughout his career, has demonstrated the ability to score,” Sendek said. “He finds ways to get buckets. When he’s doing that, without showing off the obvious here, we’re a lot better.”