Men’s basketball ends regular season against ASU

Cougars hope to improve tournament seeding with a win over the Sun Devils

Junior+Guard+Isaac+Bonton+jukes+a+defender+as+he+looks+to+hit+a+jump+shot+on+Jan.+29+at+Beasley+Coliseum.

TONY NGUYEN

Junior Guard Isaac Bonton jukes a defender as he looks to hit a jump shot on Jan. 29 at Beasley Coliseum.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen men's basketball reporter

WSU men’s basketball finishes its Arizona road trip and plays its final game of the regular season against the Arizona State University Sun Devils at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

WSU (15-15, 6-11) comes off a 83-62 loss to the University of Arizona Wildcats where junior guard Isaac Bonton led the Cougars in scoring with 21 points. Senior forward Jeff Pollard did not play in the game due to a hand injury and he remains doubtful for Saturday’s game.

Junior guard Isaac Bonton’s double-digit scoring streak in conference play continued against Arizona. Bonton scored 12 points against ASU in the last matchup, tied for his second-worst scoring performance in conference play.

In the last matchup between the Cougars and the Sun Devils (19-11, 10-7) WSU won in Beasley Coliseum off a game-winning jumper from sophomore forward CJ Elleby with four seconds left on the clock. Elleby led that game in scoring with 27 points.

ASU went on a seven-game win streak after its loss to WSU and quickly became one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12. After the streak, ASU has lost each of its last three games

ASU junior guard Remy Martin averages 19.2 points per game, which ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring. Alongside Martin, the Sun Devils have four players on their roster averaging double-digit points per game, the only other team in the Pac-12 achieving this feat is UW.

WSU locked down Martin to 12 points on four of 15 shooting in the last matchup, this is Martin’s fifth lowest scoring performance this season.

After scoring six points against Washington on Thursday, Martin is eight points away from passing Al Nealy for 18th on ASU’s all-time career scoring list.

ASU junior forward Romello White comes into this matchup against WSU averaging nine rebounds per game, tied for first in the Pac-12. Last time against WSU, Romero brought in 11 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive glass.

WSU allowed Arizona to grab 40 rebounds on Thursday. Although senior forward Jeff Pollard missed the game with a hand injury, freshman center Volodymyr Markovetskyy helped crash the boards for WSU and recorded six rebounds to lead the team.

Besides White’s rebounding efforts, ASU allows a conference worst 38 rebounds a game while WSU ranks 11th in this category.

A WSU win will propel the Cougars to the ninth seed in the Pac-12 standings while a loss could drop them to the 11th seed. ASU fights for tournament positioning as they could finish anywhere from third to sixth place.

WSU will tip off its final game of the Cougars’ Pac-12 schedule against ASU at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks.