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Fork Report: Sun Devils lose thriller in Seattle

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you a fork report, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from ASU’s loss at Washington February 2. Final score: Washington 96, ASU 92

The Story: The game itself was a thriller. Arizona State trailed 69-54 with 12:45 to go in the ball game after Shawn Kemp Jr.’s jumper. But ASU, as they have all season long, fought back eventually tying the game at 89-89 when Jonathan Gilling canned a three-pointer, his sixth of the game with 1:04.

Washington’s Aziz N’Diaye then converted a three-point play with :35 left in the game. C.J. Wilcox made two free throws to stretch the Huskies’ lead to five with :20 left. Jahii Carson then hit a three-pointer and ASU forced a five-second call to give themselves a chance to tie or win, but Carson’s driving layup was partially blocked and the Sun Devils’ ferocious comeback fell short in Seattle.

The Good: Jahii Carson is ridiculous. The redshirt freshman put his team on his back in the second half and the smallest player on the floor nearly carried the Devils to a win. In 36 minutes on the floor, Carson scored a career-high 32 points and turned the ball over only once.

Gilling found his jumper after a tough five-game stretch in that department. The Danish sophomore hit 6-of-8 from behind the arc and scored a career-high 22 points in the game.

The Bad: Rebounding and defense. Actually, those should probably fall into a category called ‘The Horrible’. The Sun Devils allowed 50 Washington points in the paint. When the Huskies did miss a shot, they dominated the offensive boards. UW had 14 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second chance points.

Jordan Bachynski, who was absolutely dominant in ASU’s win a week ago against UCLA, was absent for much of this one. The 7-foot-2 junior struggled on defense as N’Diaye scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, four of which were on the offensive end. Bachynski only had five rebounds and one blocked shot in the contest.

ASU’s free throw shooting was horrendous again, which is becoming an all-too-often trend in the Fork Report. The Devils hit just 6-of-12 free tosses while the Huskies feasted from the charity stripe, going 21-of-22.

The Sun Devils had only one offensive rebound in the contest.


• Jahii Carson’s 32 points were the second-most ever scored in a game by an ASU freshman. Mario Bennett scored 35 points in a win against Arizona in Tucson in February of 1992.

• ASU shot 63.8 percent from the field in the loss.

• Washington’s Wilcox, who came into the game as the leading scorer in the Pac-12, was held to just 10 points — his second-lowest scoring output of the season. Wilcox had 5 points in a loss to Connecticut on December 29.

He Said It: “Defensively, we were non-existent. They killed us for 50 points in the paint, got something like 21 points off our turnovers. They just looked like they had an offensive juggernaut going tonight. It was really unfortunate to watch that group (ASU’s defense) out there tonight.” — ASU associate head coach Dedrique Taylor.

What’s Next: ASU returns to Tempe with a 17-5 overall record and a 6-3 mark at the midway point of the Pac-12 schedule. They’ll host Cal next Thursday and Stanford next Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.