LAS VEGAS — The Arizona State Sun Devils survive and advance in Sin City after a 63-57 win over Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament.
ASU’s game against the Beavers was a lot closer than Sun Devil fans would have liked, but a win is a win in March and ASU is on to Day 2 at T-Mobile Arena.
The Sun Devils will get another crack at a team they've yet to be all season in the tournament’s quarterfinals: USC.
“It's going to be a physical game. If it's anything like our last game on Saturday with USC, it's going to be a war both teams need the game,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. “We talked about coming here to try and win a championship. That's our mission. Really, it's legit tests like what you're going to face if you want to play the NCAA tournament.”
ASU forward Warren Washington led the Sun Devils in scoring with 15 points while guards DJ Horne and Desmond Cambridge Jr. contributed 13 points each.
The Sun Devils will face USC for the second time in a week after dropping their regular season finale in Los Angeles before heading to Las Vegas. A win over the Trojans would bolster ASU’s resume for NCAA Tournament consideration.
“We worked all year for this just this month, so I feel like it's just all coming together,” Washington said. “I'm excited. I know the guys are excited.”
The Sun Devils know they have to make easy shots, capitalize on USC’s turnovers, and attack the offensive glass to beat the Trojans for the first time this season. USC will be coming in fresh after earning a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, but the Sun Devils are fired up to have extended their stay in Vegas for at least one more night.
“It feels good to make it a day two. I can tell you that!” ASU forward Jamiya Neal said. “Just going out there and competing with my brothers. You know, we’re all so close as a group. So just going out there to win with them, that just meant everything.”
The Sun Devils and Trojans will cap off day two of the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena, following the game between No. 2 Arizona and No. 10 Stanford. Tip-off for ASU vs. USC is set for 9:30 p.m.
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