PULLMAN - Few teams in the country attempt more 3-point field goals than the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Unfortunately for Arizona State, plenty of teams make more 3-point field goals than the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils shot themselves to exhaustion – not to mention a lopsided defeat – by throwing up 19 shot from 3-point range in the first half and sinking just seven Thursday night in a 78-61 loss to the Washington State Cougars at Friel Court.
“(The Cougars) were telling us to shoot ’em. We listened,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said glumly.
Junior post DeAngelo Casto led the Cougars with a career-high 25 points. Klay Thompson added 22 points, nine assists (tying a career high), eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
“He (Thompson) was terrific,” Sendek said. “Him and Casto were terrific.”
An enthusiastic crowd of 7,157 watched the Cougars (14-5 overall, 4-3 Pacific-10 Conference) breeze to victory on the strength of 52 percent shooting from the field, including 45 percent on 3-pointers (9-for-20).
“Our defense gave us no chance to win,” Sendek said.
The Sun Devils shot 33 percent from the floor, including 35 percent (10-for-29) from the 3-point arc.
The victory was WSU’s fourth in the past five games and seventh in eight tries in Pullman this year. Throw in transplanted home games in Seattle and Spokane, and WSU is 9-1 at home.
Arizona, which lost to 20th-ranked Washington, 85-68 , on Thursday, comes to Friel Court on Saturday night for a 7:30 game on FSN.
Arizona State (9-9, 1-5) trailed 41-31 at halftime. The Cougars, who led almost all the way, saw their lead trimmed to four early in the second half before Thompson buried a pair of 3-pointers in barely 20 seconds to give WSU a 50-38 lead with less than 17 minutes to go.
“We just shared the ball exceptionally well,” Casto said.
“Everyone is feeling pretty confident,” WSU guard Marcus Capers said.
Thompson, ranked first in scoring average in the Pac-10 and eighth in NCAA Division I at the start of the day at 22.9 points a game, passed Marcus Moore to move into fifth in career scoring at WSU.
Coach Ken Bone called Thompson one of WSU’s all-time greats and warned fans that they may be running out of time to see Thompson in Pullman, since he may turn pro after this season.
WSU starting point guard Reggie Moore, back from a one-game suspension related to his recent arrest for marijuana possession, contributed 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and just one turnover in 33 minutes.
Capers, taking advantage of some slick feeds from Thompson, scored 10 points on four dunks and two free throws.
Both teams were missing a starting wing: Faisal Aden (knee) of WSU and Carrick Felix (illness) of ASU.
Ty Abbott led Arizona State with 16 points, thanks largely to 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers. Thompson hit 5 of 11 treys. Casto, bidding for his second straight Pac-10 blocked shots title, had four.