for this game

Washington State hopes to avoid second straight loss

Jan 26, 2008 - 2:49 PM No. 6 Washington St (16-2) at Arizona St (14-4) 7:00 pm EST

TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) - Sixth-ranked Washington State aims to bounce back from an uncharacteristically bad defensive performance on Saturday when it visits Arizona State in a Pac-10 Conference showdown.

The Cougars endured a 76-64 loss at Arizona on Thursday. The Wildcats made 12 3-pointers en route to the win.

Washington State (16-2, 4-2 Pac-10), which entered the game as the nation's top ranked defense by surrendering just 53.3 points per game, allowed Arizona to shoot an astounding 55 percent (22-of-40) from the floor while suffering its worst loss in nearly two years.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Cougars as leading-scorer Derrick Low was held to five points. It was the Cougars' first double-digit loss since was a 69-55 setback to Utah on December 2, 2006.

Meanwhile, the Sun Devils (14-4, 4-2) also are trying and rebound from a poor performance. Arizona State shot just 32 percent (17-of-53) in a 72-61 home loss to Washington on Thursday.

James Harden, the Sun Devils' leading scorer, played and scored 17 points despite a strained right groin. However, the sensational freshman could not prevent Arizona State from dropping a second straight game.

Washington State swept the season series last season, and has won four of the last five meetings.