TEMPE — It didn’t have the frenetic offensive pace or execution of the first meeting between the two teams, but there were similar themes intertwined in Washington’s 68-59 win over Arizona State Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Huskies, like they did in the first meeting in Seattle earlier this month, dominated on the glass, outrebounding ASU 35-22 with 14 of those coming on the offensive end.
The Devils, who trailed almost the entire game, again found a way to fight back into it, pulling to within one on a 9-0 run capped by freshman Eric Jacobsen’s tip-in with 3:49 left.
But Arizona State (20-8, 9-6) would get no closer. The dagger was Scott Suggs’ three-pointer with :25 left that stretched the Huskies’ lead to six at 64-58.
With the loss, ASU falls into fifth place in the Pac-12 with three games remaining.
The energy in the building was outstanding even though the contest tipped off after 9:00. Over 10,000 were in attendance for the game on Senior Night as Carrick Felix, Chris Colvin, Ruslan Pateev and Joey Hormes were honored.
The Sun Devils’ again showed their uncanny ability to fight their way back into games when really they had no business doing so. Washington point guard Abdul Gaddy hit a layup with 11:40 to go, putting the Huskies up by 13 points. But ASU clawed their way back in, making it interesting in the last four minutes of the contest before ultimately falling.
ASU’s defensive effort on Washington guard C.J. Wilcox was again solid. The Sun Devils held the Pac-12’s sixth-leading scorer to just 6 points on 1-of-11 shooting. In two games against ASU, Wilcox hit just 3-of-22 field goal attempts and scored 16 points. He came into the game averaging 17.5 per contest.
Individually, nobody stood out on either end for the Devils. Pateev, Evan Gordon and Jahii Carson led the offense with 10 points apiece.
The rebounding, again, was not up to par. In their two meetings this season, UW outrebounded ASU 71-42, with 28 of those coming on the offensive glass.
And it wouldn’t be a Fork Report without mentioning the Sun Devils’ woes at the free throw line. ASU connected on just 53 percent of their (supposedly) free tosses. In the second half, the Devils hit just 4-of-9 free throws and missed two front ends of one-and-ones.
Player of the Game:
Scott Suggs, Washington – The senior wing hit three treys in the first half and then pounded the final nail into the coffin with a three-pointer with :25 left. Suggs led all scorers with 16 points, and was the only Husky player to hit from behind the arc all night, going 4-of-6 while his teammates combined to go 0-for-6.
• ASU held just one lead in the game, 1-0 after Jonathan Gilling free throw in the first minute.
• Ruslan Pateev had three dunks in the game.
• The attendance of 10,004 was the second-biggest crowd of the season at Wells Fargo Arena. The Arizona game on January 19 drew 10,900.
• ASU finishes the 2012-13 campaign with a record of 15-4 at Wells Fargo Arena.
He Said It:
“Maybe the thing that once again stands out more than any when you look at those columns is our free throw shooting. It’s been a challenge for us all year to make free throws and it’s almost a miracle we’ve won as many close games as we have given our free throw shooting percentage.” — ASU head coach Herb Sendek on the continuing challenge his team faces at the free throw line.
The Sun Devils finish the regular season with three games on the road, starting with a visit to Pauley Pavilion to face the UCLA Bruins Wednesday night in a game that tips off at 9:30 Phoenix time. Then it’s on to USC for a Saturday afternoon tilt against the Trojans at the Galen Center.