PULLMAN, Washington — Tra Holder scored 16 points to lead Arizona State past Washington State 67-55 on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (9-14, 1-10), who have lost nine straight games, played without leading scorer and rebounder Josh Hawkinson. The junior forward suffered a sprained ankle Thursday against Arizona. Conor Clifford, WSU's starting center, had to be helped off the floor midway through the second half after suffering an apparent lower-body injury. He did not return.
Charles Callison led Washington State with 15 points. Valentine Izundu came off the bench after missing eight games with a foot injury and contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Sun Devils led 40-32 at the half. Oleka beat the halftime buzzer with an off-balance 3-pointer.
Arizona State starters Eric Jacobsen, Willie Atwood and Blakes did not score in the first half. However, Holder and Spight (11 points each) and Oleka (10) combined to score 33 of ASU's 40 first-half points.
The Sun Devils had lost two in a row and five of six since beating WSU 84-73 in Tempe on Jan. 14.
Arizona State: Bobby Hurley is one of two active NCAA Division I men's basketball coaches who earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Hurley was honored in 1992, when he led Duke to the national championship. Wake Forest coach Danny Manning won the MOP award in 1988 with the national champions of Kansas.
Washington State: Saturday's loss clinched a fifth straight losing season in conference play for the Cougars. They finished 9-9 in 2010-11 following two more losing conference seasons. Over the past 21 years, the Cougars have posted just two winning conference records, plus a pair of .500 marks. WSU is trying to snap a three-year string of losing overall records since putting together six consecutive winning seasons from 2006-07 through 2011-12.
Arizona State hosts USC on Friday.
Washington State visits Colorado on Thursday.