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Arizona State Drops Pac-12 Opener in Forgettable Fashion

After returning from the Bahamas, the Arizona State Sun Devils played perhaps their worst basketball game of the season in a forgettable loss to the Washington State Cougars.

Many were curious as to how the Arizona State Sun Devils would rebound after a tough outing in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. 

Yet no amount of imagination could have prepared anybody for the product that would be seen at Desert Financial Arena, as Arizona State dropped its fifth game in a row with a 51-29 home loss to the Washington State Cougars, opening Pac-12 play with a massively disappointing defeat.

Rest assured, you are not seeing things. It is not a typo. The Sun Devils scored 29 points.

It was a game where the Sun Devils couldn't get anything going on the offensive end. Washington State, which had suffered its first loss of the season after winning the first five games of the season, also struggled early before pulling away in the second half. 

Still without forward Marcus Bagley, the Sun Devils' loss to Washington State further proves his importance to the team in a game where Arizona State never had the lead.

Here's how it all went down:

First-Half Recap

Starters

G DJ Horne
G Marreon Jackson
G Luther Muhammad
F Kimani Lawrence
F Jalen Graham 

Arizona State quickly found themselves down 10-0 in the first half, eventually finding the scoreboard thanks to an open three-pointer from Horne. 

The Sun Devils' struggles from the free-throw line continued on Wednesday night, initially going 0-for-4 from the stripe and helping preserve a 10-3 score-line for nearly five minutes of action. 

The Cougars shot 4-for-13 during that stretch, while Arizona State didn't score its second bucket until the 9:31 mark of the first half. 

Both teams shot a combined 0-for-11 from the free-throw line to open the first half, as Washington State carried an 18-10 lead into halftime. 

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According to 247 Sports, the last time Arizona State scored only 10 points in a half was on Feb. 25, 2016, when they trailed Utah 44-10 at halftime.

Arizona State shot 16.7% from the field, trailing Washington State's 24.1% in an extremely forgettable half for both squads. 

Second-Half Recap

The final 20 minutes saw Washington State get off to another quick start, going on a 10-2 run from which Arizona State could not recover. 

The Cougars, who previously blew a 19-point lead in their loss over the weekend, saw their lead grow to 37-16 at the under-12 media timeout. 

It was an uneventful game of catch-up for Arizona State the rest of the way.

Arizona State would go on multiple stretches where the team went scoreless for more than two minutes, allowing Washington State to maintain the lead throughout the entire second half in comfortable fashion. 

The Sun Devils finished by making only one of their last eight field-goal attempts in the loss. The 29 points were the lowest amount of points Arizona State has scored in the shot-clock era. 

The Cougars' 33 points in the second half was more than SU's combined score in both halves. 

Horne (10) was the only player for Arizona State to score in double figures.

The Sun Devils went 12-for-57 from the field (21%), while making only 3 of 26 (12%) from three-point land. ASU also finished with 16 personal fouls and 15 turnovers. 

This is the first time Bobby Hurley has lost five games in a row as a head coach. 

What's Next

Arizona State looks to regroup over the next few days, with its next Pac-12 test coming on a road trip to Oregon on Sunday.