LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t pretty but it was a win. And for a team in desperation mode it works.
The No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils chalked up a 63-57 win over No. 11 Oregon State in opening day of the Pac-12 tournament Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. The win keeps ASU in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth, with them among the first handful teams out in most projections.
So, there is still some work to do. Coach Bobby Hurley’s team will have a chance to further enhance its resume when it takes the floor in the quarterfinal game on Thursday night against No. 3 USC (22-9).
Hurley shouldn’t have much work to do on a scouting report. His team just squared off against USC on Saturday in the regular season finale, losing 68-65. ASU had a shot to tie that game in the closing seconds but a long distance shot by Horne was off at the buzzer.
USC won the meeting between the teams in Tempe by a more lopsided 77-69 on Jan. 21.
The Sun Devils were again without true freshman Austin Nunez, the first guard off the bench, who has been out three weeks with a concussion.
More:Arizona State ready for Pac-12 tournament. Will it be last hurrah for Bobby Hurley?
In games earlier in the day:
- No. 9 Colorado (17-15) defeated No. 8 Washington 74-68. Sophomore guard Julian Hammond, who came in averaging 6.1 points a game, scored a team-high 21, while All-Pac 12 selection Tristan da Silva tallied 17. Colorado advances to play No. 1 UCLA (27-4) at 1 p.m. Thursday.
- No. 6 Washington State (17-15) extended it win streak to seven games with a 69-52 victory over No. 12 California. Junior guard T.J. Bamba led the Cougars with `17 points. Washington State next faces No. 4 Oregon (18-13) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in quarterfinal play.
- No. 11 Stanford upset No. 7 Utah 73-62 in the third of four games on the night. The Cardinal were led by Brandon Angel with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Stanford (13-18) advances to face No. 2 Arizona (25-6) at 7 p.m. Senior center Brendan Carlson had 27 points for Utah (17-15).