Arizona State (17-4, 6-2 Pac-12) began the game shooting just 2-12 from the field, including 0-8 from behind three-point line, falling behind by as many as nine points to the Cougars in the game's first ten minutes of action.
However, an 8-0 run by the visitors following an Herb Sendek timeout pumped some life back into the Sun Devils and the hot shooting of junior guard Evan Gordon, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, helped bring ASU back within two at the break, trailing 28-26.
After a scoreless first half, senior forward Carrick Felix awoke in the second stanza, once again igniting his offense through his defensive effort, pouring in his first field goal of the game with 14:50 remaining in the contest to give ASU a brief lead.
The Sun Devils would stake to a late seven point advantage following another Felix three pointer with 3:20 to go, but saw the Cougars rally back to even the score at 58 just 90 seconds later.
A backcourt Felix steal though would lead to a Jahii Carson three point play, giving ASU a lead it would not relinquish down the stretch. In fact, that tandem of players scored the Sun Devils’ last 18 points of the contest.
The Sun Devils put the ball in Carson's hands one last time as the freshman playmaker dribbled the shot clock down before splitting the Washington State (11-10, 2-6) defense for sweeping layup with just 11.3 seconds remaining on the clock to register the final score, securing the third straight victory for the Sun Devils and their second road conference win this season.
Carson led all scorers on Thursday, finishing with 25 points on 10-19 shooting. Felix notched his third consecutive double-double, adding 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Gordon added 13 points.
The Sun Devils’ four turnovers, the lowest mark of any ASU team in Sendek’s tenure in Tempe, helped the maroon and gold overcome shooting just 38% from the field for the game and another rough night at the free throw line, where they converted only 4-11 shot attempts.
Still, Arizona State improved to 6-2 in conference play for the first time since 1994 and 17-4 overall for the first time since 1980-81. Next up for the Sun Devils is a trip to Seattle to face the University of Washington at 7 pm MT.