Verge Jr. scores season-high 26 points in @SunDevilHoops’ Pac-12 Tournament opener
LAS VEGAS – Alonzo Verge Jr. scored 19 of his season-high 26 points in the second half, including what proved to be the game-winning basket with 11 seconds remaining in the Sun Devil men's basketball team's 64-59 win over Washington State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Kimani Lawrence had 13 points, Jalen Graham added nine points and Jaelen House came through with a strong all-around performance with eight points and led or tied for the team lead in rebounds (six), assists (five) and steals (three). Graham and Verge tied House with six rebounds and Remy Martin scored six points and tied for the team lead with three steals.
PAC-12 BEST RECORD IN TWO-POSSESSION GAMES (SIX POINTS OR LESS) PAST TWO SEASONS
UCLA, 16-4 (.800)
Oregon, 14-4 (.778)
Arizona State, 17-7 (.708)
The Sun Devils (11-13) made 61 percent of their shots inside the arc and made 80 percent of their free throws in the second half. ASU's ability to make a high percentage of its shots played a major factor its ability to get back into the game after the Cougars (14-13) scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 32-25 lead with just over 16 minutes remaining.
ALONZO VERGE TOP SCORING GAMES
43 vs. St. Mary's (12/18/19)
26 vs. Washington State/Pac-12 Tournament (3/10/21)
26 vs. UCLA (2/6/20)
26 vs. #14 Oregon (2/20/20)
25 vs. UCLA (1/7/21)
25 vs. #24 San Diego State (12/10/20)
ASU came back to lead by as many as six points after Verge started and finished a 15-4 run to give ASU a 47-41 lead.
No sooner was it the Cougars were back in command after WSU reeled off seven straight points to reclaim the lead.
Down by four with three minutes left, Verge would step up again, scoring eight of ASU's last 14 points, including what turned out to be the game-winning points on a driving layup with 11 seconds left.
House clinched the Sun Devil win after coming up with a steal to thwart WSU's last-second attempt to win the game.
Up next for the Sun Devils, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, is a contest against the top seed, Oregon on Thursday at 11:30 am PST/12:30 p.m. MST. The game can be seen on Pac-12 Network/Arizona/Oregon and heard on ESPN 620 AM (KTAR-AM), arizonasports.com.