Huskies Down Devils, Complete AZ Schools Sweep

The Sun Devils' woes continued in Seattle. ASU's offense and defense suffered lapses and Washington fought through an ugly, foul-riddled game for a 90 – 81 victory over Arizona State.

If I told you that ASU would shoot over 49% from the field, two Huskies would foul out, and four Sun Devils would score in double digits – including two with 20 plus – you probably would have guessed that ASU won the game. Unfortunately, the frustration for Sun Devil fans continues because their team could not get timely buckets or stops and allowed the Huskies to complete the sweep of the Arizona schools.

The game started ominously, with ASU going scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. During that stretch the Devils were zero for seven from the field and turned the ball over four times. Washington built a 12-0 lead before Ike Diogu's dunk 4:54 into the game got ASU on the scoreboard.

When the buzzer sounded for halftime, the Devils had whittled away at the lead and trailed only by five, 51-46. ASU found an offensive rhythm as the half went on and were able to put themselves in striking distance going into the intermission.

Unfortunately, it did not take long for that lead to expand to thirteen. The Huskies reached that lead just under four minutes into the final stanza. For the next stretch of minutes, the lead stayed in double digits and the Sun Devils did not look to be much of a threat to mount a comeback attempt.

Then, with 6:02 left in the game and the Huskies leading 73-62, a shoving match between UW's Will Conroy and ASU's Allen Morrill ensued. As part of the tussle, the Huskies' Anthony Washington was called for an intentional technical foul. When the smoke cleared and the Sun Devils' free throws and extra possession was completed, the Devils had pulled within six points, at 73-67.

Unfortunately, not even the refs could light a fire under ASU. Will Conroy quickly hit a three pointer to put the Huskies up nine and ASU did not make much of a push for the rest of the game.

Ike Diogu and Jamal Hill had strong scoring games, scoring 23 and 21, respectively. The Devils also had two other players in double digit scoring, with Steve Moore adding 12 and Tron Smith 10 points.

The story of the game was ASU's inability to sustain a defensive effort. The Huskies' Tre Simmons had a career high 21 points, Conroy contributed 15, and Brandon Roy and Bobby Jones were also in double figures. Add those four players to the UW's 40-29 rebounding advantage and the Devils were in for a long game.

With a trip to the Bay area looming large next week, the Devils are not in a good position to pull themselves out of the rut. A trip to the Pac-10 Tournament is doubtful at this point unless Rob Evans and the rest of the coaches can orchestrate a miracle turnaround for the remainder of the conference season.

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