It was an unlikely coming-out party for Washington State freshman Klay Thompson at Wells Fargo Arena last night, as the rail-thin guard led the Cougars to a 65-55 upset over the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson hit shots from all over the court, stealing the show from ASU star James Harden en route to a career high of 28 points.
It got so that the crowd of about 10,000 grumbled and groaned every time the sweet-shooting dude (that's Thompson in the photo) even touched the ball. That's what happens when an unknown swishes
seven straight three-point bombs, some with a defender's hand in his face.
We were sitting up in a section reserved for NBA scouts, and they barely knew who Thompson was when the game started. But he's all they were chatting about after underdog WSU overcame a 7-point ASU lead in the second half and pulled away late in the contest.
Thompson's magnificent shooting performance wasn't all that doomed the Devils to their third conference loss (the locals are now 5-3 in Pac-10 play, one game behind leaders UCLA and Washington). ASU again shot very poorly from the field, hitting just 37 percent of its field-goal attempts, and just 10 of 17 from the foul line.
Memorably pathetic moment: With a minute to go and play stopped with the Devils down by 7, a majority of the "fans" stood as one, but not to try to will the home boys to make a heroic run. Far weirder comebacks have happened.
They stood to make their way out of the arena.
That's called front-running.
The 14th-ranked (for now) Devils will have to regroup for their Saturday afternoon game against the Washington Huskies, which will be aired on Fox Sports (Channel 34) and on KTAR-6620. The Huskies themselves were upset by the Arizona Wildcats last night in a crazy one down in Tucson, 106-97. You gotta love college basketball.
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By the way, we predicted a 64-59 score in last night's game in our preview blog, though we chose not to choose a winner. Off by just one point on the winning score, and four on the loser's end -- wish we'd been in Vegas.
While we're on a roll (ha!), here's our best guess for the ASU-UW game: ASU 78, Washington 75.