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Cougs’ Moore will play tonight

Washington State coach Ken Bone said Wednesday following practice that point guard Reggie Moore’s suspension had been lifted and Moore would play tonight against Arizona State.

Moore was suspended indefinitely Saturday prior to WSU’s win at Stanford.

The suspension was in response to Moore being charged with two marijuana-related misdemeanors on Jan. 4 that resulted from a Dec. 11 search of his dorm room.

With Moore returning to the starting lineup, junior college transfer Faisal Aden, who started against the Cardinal, scored 20 points and helped the Cougars to a 61-58 comeback victory, returns to his usual sixth-man role.

Aden has given Washington State another offensive dimension this season, averaging 14.6 points a game, second most on the team.

Which has engendered a bit of a debate among Cougars fans. Should Aden be starting?

In the eight games Aden has started, WSU is 7-1. In those, Aden is averaging 17.3 points and shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, 32.6 from beyond the arc. In his 10 appearances off the bench, Aden averages 10.5 points and shoots 46.7 percent, 41.0 from long range.

But no matter the numbers, Bone likes using the 6-foot-4 Aden as an injection of instant offense for the Cougars.

“I think I prefer to see him come off the bench,” Bone said. “I like what he brings coming off the bench. We are more used to that rotation … and it’s probably that more than anything else.”

• Arizona State will be missing three players tonight, two because of illness, including starting wing Carrick Felix, and one to a death in the family.

Gaels impress Keating

Saint Mary’s pounded visiting Santa Clara 84-59 last Saturday, prompting Broncos coach Kerry Keating to call the Gaels “the best team in our league right now. I don’t think anyone would debate that.”

The Gaels (16-2, 4-0) have won WCC games by an average of 21.8 points. Gonzaga (13-5, 3-0) is winning by an average of 16.7 points. The teams collide Jan. 27 in Spokane and Feb. 24 in Moraga, Calif.

“All that matters is when we play,” Bulldogs guard Demetri Goodson said. “Win or lose, that’s all that matters. People can say what they want until that point. We’ll just have to see.”

Staff writer Jim Meehan contributed to this report.