Kelsey Moos couldn’t hide her agitated mood Saturday morning.
It was great to see family, celebrating the birthday of Bill Moos, her mother’s cousin and the Washington State athletic director, before his Cougars hosted Kelsey’s No. 24 Arizona State on Friday.
With more than 100 friends and family watching, the former star at Reardan High of Spokane had a disappointing end to the night with an 85-78 upset loss to WSU.
The result highlighted the parity that Pac-12 teams face entering conference play.
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“If you look at our conference overall, almost every team has a winning record,” said ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne, whose team faces Washington on Sunday at 2 p.m. “There’s never an easy win, and that’s obviously showing in the first weekend of the conference.”
The Sun Devils (11-2, 0-1 Pac-12) entered Pac-12 play on a 10-game win streak, defeating two nationally ranked teams (then-No. 11 North Carolina and No. 20 Syracuse). If the Huskies are able to beat the Sun Devils, it would be the school’s first win against a ranked opponent since 2008.
Moos, a freshman forward, is an integral part for ASU, averaging 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. She had a team-high 17 points with nine rebounds against WSU.
“We knew she would be an impact player,” Turner Thorne said of Moos. “I don’t think I knew she would do everything she’s doing. She just never takes a possession off.”
Moos joins fellow freshman Sophie Brunner in the starting lineup. With seasoned center Joy Burke off the bench and guard Deja Mann back from a knee injury, the Sun Devils have a strong lineup that should return ASU to the NCAA tournament.
“Ever since the freshmen have been here this summer, the whole team has been great about trying to get us in the transition of things,” Moos said. “It’s whatever I can do for the team.”
Defensive breakdowns prevented ASU from beating WSU while UW (8-4, 0-1 Pac-12) used hustle plays to win a close matchup (55-52) against Arizona on Friday.
“We have to come together and play team defense, again,” Moos said.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans