March 4, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Kevin Kruger scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and Serge Angounou grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds Saturday night to lead Arizona State to a 68-55 victory over Washington State.
In what could have been the final home game for Rob Evans as the Sun Devils' coach, the victory gave Arizona State (11-16, 5-13 Pac-10) the No. 8 seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament. The Sun Devils will play Oregon State on Wednesday.
There is widespread speculation that Evans will not return after eight seasons in Tempe.
It also was the last regular-season game for Washington State coach Dick Bennett, who is retiring after this season.
Kruger made all six of his free throw tries, and had six assists and four steals. Washington State committed 19 turnovers.
Caleb Forrest was the only Cougar player in double figures with 11 points.
Tyrone Jackson, Arizona State's lone senior, scored 12 points on four-for-five shooting. Jeff Pendergraph scored 13 and Bryson Krueger 12 for the Sun Devils.
The Cougars (11-16, 4-14) lost their sixth in a row to wind up last in the conference and will play Oregon in the first round.
Kruger scored the last five points of a 10-0 run that put Arizona State ahead for good 28-19 on his 3-pointer with 1:46 to play in the half. The Cougars, though, scored the next five to cut it to 28-24 at the break.
Kruger had five points and an assist as the Sun Devils started the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 33-24 lead on Angounou's dunk.
The junior sharpshooter, son of UNLV coach Lon Kruger, sank consecutive 3-pointers to make it 47-37 and Washington State never again got closer than nine.
Pendergraph's 14-footer put ASU ahead 62-45 with 5:55 from the finish.
The two coaches, longtime friends and fishing partners, exchanged a long hug at the end of the game.