Sun Devils fall to Washington on Senior Night, 68-59
Arizona State looked to capture momentum off its last home game of the season, but the Washington Huskies again proved to be too much for ASU, downing the Sun Devils, 68-59. With the loss, ASU drops to (20-8; 9-6 Pac-12) on the year.
The Sun Devils shot 47.9 percent going 23-48 from the floor, but failed to have a leading scorer above ten points. Three players tied for the team-high with ten points in Jahii Carson, Evan Gordon and Ruslan Pateev. Scott Suggs for the Huskies led all scorers with 16 points, while as a team Washington shot 48.1 percent from the field on 26-54 shooting. Carson struggled and shot only 3-14, not a good sign especially as Carrick Felix finished with only eight points on 2-6 shooting.
The deciding factor of the game came from the free throw line, as Arizona State struggled, going only 8-15. For Washington, it finished 12-16 from the charity stripe.
A late 9 p.m. (MT) start did not discourage Sun Devil fans from showing up Saturday night, as a packed crowd of 10,004 fans from Wells Fargo Arena was involved and loud early on for senior day. One player that benefited from senior day was Pateev, getting the nod to start for his last game in front of the ASU home fans. Pateev capitalized on the opportunity early, slamming through two dunks, once on a put-back in which he ended up on the floor, before the first official timeout where Washington led, 9-7.
Arizona State started 5-9 from the floor after beginning Wednesday's matchup with Washington State 4-12, a welcoming solid start to the game. For the Huskies, they began the game shooting 5-12, but only 1-5 from three. With 11:55 to play in the first half the score was all squared at 11.
When the biggest impact senior for ASU, Felix, recorded his second foul forcing him to the bench with eight minutes to play in the first half, the Sun Devils were forced to overcome the absence of their team leader, already down by five, 21-16. Felix returned shortly after, however, showing the confidence ASU head coach Herb Sendek has in his star.
With Felix back on the floor, the Devils quickly scored five unanswered points, once again tying the game, this time at 21.
Whenever Arizona State made a run to erase the gap, the Huskies countered with small runs of their own, keeping their lead alive. At halftime they led by four, 32-28.
ASU finished out the half at 45.8 percent on 11-24 shooting from the field, while Washington shot 48.3 percent on 14-29 shooting. The Huskies had nine more rebounds at the half, including an 8-2 edge on the offensive boards.
Washington opened the second half hitting its shots, scoring 15 points before the TV timeout with 15:38 to play. A three-pointer by guard Evan Gordon kept it close, but ASU still trailed by eight, 43-35.
While shots continued to rim out for the Sun Devils, they poured through on the opposite end for the Huskies. With 12:28 to play they held their largest lead of the game at 12 points, 49-37.
As the referees continued to call questionable fouls, the crowd of Sun Devil Country began awakening once again, furious with the calls being made on the floor. As the crowd grew louder the squad responded with higher intensity, chipping the lead to eight, 55-47, with 7:45 to play.
The lead shrunk even more out of the official timeout, as a Felix three-pointer from the wing cut the deficit to five with 6:26 to play, forcing Washington to call a timeout to regroup. Three minutes later freshman center Eric Jacobsen put back a missed Carson layup, and the 12-point deficit was now one point.
After the Huskies re-stretched the lead to five, Carson used a nifty reverse layup to make it a three-point deficit. An ASU timeout ensued, setting the table for the final 1:04 of regulation.
However, out of the timeout, Washington was able to connect on a three-pointer from the baseline, which proved to be too much for the Sun Devils to overcome. Washington sunk its free throws, and the Huskies went on to win the game, 68-59.
With three games remaining, Arizona State heads to California for a meeting with UCLA. The tilt is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (PT), Feb. 27.