Spaced out over the course of Monday night, there was some wild and crazy Pac-12 men's hoops action taking place. The conference would finish the evening 4-1, with the lone loss suffered by Washington State on the road.
Some were defensive wars, some tightly contested, and some were just downright ugly, but welcome to the 2014-15 Pac-12 Conference.
Arizona State 49, Bethune-Cookman 39: For a game that ended with a high school basketball score, this was uglier to watch than imagined. The Sun Devils jumped all over the Wildcats (if you could tell me where Bethune-Cookman is located without looking it up, you have my utmost respect) in the first half, pulling out to a 33-14 halftime lead.
Possibly resting on their laurels, the Sun Devils came out listless in the second half to the tune of just 16 points. B-C would nearly cut the final margin to single-digits, but ASU held on with help from junior center Eric Jacobsen who would finish with a double-double, including 13 points and 10 rebounds. De facto team's best player Shaquielle McKissic would play 30 minutes and attempt just two shots. He would make just a single free throw while pulling down only two rebounds and two assists. The Devils were lucky to survive their significant lows at home on Monday night.
TCU 81, Washington State 54: It didn't take very long for things to get ugly in Fort Worth. Just four minutes into the action, the Horned Frogs already led 14-0 and showed no signs of slowing down. That's probably because they wouldn't. They'd be up by 19 at the half, and eventually would polish off the Cougars by 27 in a game that was never close.
The lone bright spot for Wazzou was sophomore forward Josh Hawkinson, who finished with a double-double including 14 points and 13 rebounds. On a night where the Cougars would go 11-for-28 (39%) from the free throw stripe, they'll take any bright spots they can get.
Oregon 83, Detroit 66: The final score is in no way indicative of how competitive this contest was. It wasn't until late that the Ducks managed some separation in a game that was tied at 35 all going into the half.
Senior guard Joseph Young led the way with 22 points, but also managed to chuck up 12 three-pointers, getting only one to go down. Taking easily the most shots of anybody on the team (23), he got help off the bench from Jalil Abdul-Bassit who would add 17 points, including three threes.
USC 70, Tennessee Tech 58: After dropping their opener at home to Portland State, the Trojans rebounded with a closer-than-necessary victory over the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech.
It would be the two young guards who would carry USC to victory; with freshman Jordan McLaughlin contributing 15 points and seven assists, while Katin Reinhardt tied for the lead in all scorers with 19 points. Just to add to Trojans' fans consternation, Tech would go just 1-for-18 (5.6%) from deep. Unable to throw the ball into the ocean from long range, the Eagles were unable to catch USC once they went ahead.
Colorado 90, Auburn 59: Believe it or not, this was actually quite the competitive basketball game for the first 20 minutes. Leading by only four at the break, the Buffs turned their defense up to another level in the second half. After the half alone, they'd outscore the Tigers 52-25.
Ten different players would score for Colorado, including their three starting forwards (Wesley Gordon, Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott) who all scored in double-figures.
Taking a peak at Auburn's final stats line makes one want to cringe. The shooting appeared poor while watching the game, but by the end, they'd gone 5-for-27 (18.5%) from three-point range and shoot just 29 percent from the field overall. Even leading scorer KT Harrell who finished with 20 points would go just 5-for-17.
It was a convincing win on national TV for a team that will be looking to go dancing once again this March.