Huskies Dominate Devils at Home

Early in the second half, following a questionable call by the refs, a Sun Devil fan hurled a bottle of water onto the court. Head coach Rob Evans urged the fans over the PA system not to engage in such activities, and allow both teams to play basketball. "We're not playing well," he said, "but we're playing hard." Those words not only describe tonight 96-72 loss against Washington, but perhaps also the entire season which in nearing the end...

In the Devils' last home game of the season, seniors Kenny Crandall, Justin Allen, Jamal Hill, and Brandon Goldman, were inserted into the starting lineup along with Diogu. The Huskies opened the game on a 9-0 run, and Diogu broke his team's drought at the 17:23 mark with the visitors leading 9-2. A minute later, Evans got a technical foul expressing his disgust with the refs, but his squad doesn't respond to their coach's attempt to fire them up. A Tre Simmons jumper makes it 19-6 with 14:04 left in the game. Things don't improve as the game progressed, and ASU found itself down 31-14 at the 7:55 mark in large part thanks to Hakeem Rollins. Ike Diogu scored 19 points in the half, and answered the onslaught by the visitors, who went down to the locker room leading 44-29.

The Huskies really put on the burners in the second stanza, as Will Conroy ignited a 16-4 Washington run to open a 60-33 lead at the 15:57 mark. A rare four-point play by Steve Moore excites the mostly disappointed crowd, as ASU trailed 67-49 with 10:53 remaining in the contest. Nevertheless, the Sun Devils weren't able to get much closer than that, and as a result empties their bench to go ahead and play 15 players in the last home game of the 2003-04 campaign. The seniors get one last and loud ovation, which is about the only thing left to cheer about in the last home game of the 2003-04 campaign.

With his 27 points, Diogu inched closer to capturing the Pac-10 scoring title going into the last week of conference play. He also paced all players on the floor with eight rebounds. Hill and Moore were the only other ASU players in double figures, with 14 and 10 points respectively. The Sun Devils were out rebounded 41-35, and committed 20 turnovers on the night. Brandon Roy led the Huskies with 18 points.

Evans began his post game remarks addressing the comments he made on Thursday about Diogu not working hard during the second half of the Washington State game. "I don't use the media as a forum to criticize my kids, " he said. "If I have something to say to them I will say it. Someone may have taken it (Evans' comments) out of context. I'm not criticizing him (Diogu), just stating a fact." Evans added that Diogu came to his office early on Friday morning, and both cleared up the air concerning this matter.

"I thought our guys still came to play tonight," said Evans concerning the Washington game. "We've been struggling all year long. We've had some opportunities to win some basketball games that we lost, and the kids lost confidence. They battled tonight, and struggled scoring, outside of Ike, in the first half. They kept on fighting, and I'm proud of them for that. I'm proud of the fans staying with us through a difficult season. Hopefully we feel like we know where we are in our program, we know what we need to do as far as maturing and adding pieces. We need to work on a lot of different areas, and shore things up."

A miserable season comes to a merciful end with a visit to Arizona Wildcats on March 7th. The Sun Devils have suffered many low points in their season, and the contest in Tucson could prove to be the icing on the cake…

Sparky's SundriesUp until Kevin Kruger's basket with 29 seconds left in the first half, all of ASU's scoring came from Diogu (19), Hill (6), and Serge Angounou (one point)…We don't know if Sparky was promoting the upcoming "Starsky and Hutch" movie, but he was looking sharp with his Huggy Bear outfit, which consisted of a feathered hat and bright red jacket…The student section had a nice showing in the team's last home contest. Kudos to the tie guys for giving up their "Stormin' Mormon" sign to Mrs. Kenny Crandall. This is one memento we know the outgoing ASU senior will cherish forever…

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