Devils Take Care of Business

Coming off an easy victory Thursday night against Washington State, there was potential for ASU to come into Saturday's game looking past the Huskies at their LA road trip next week.

As the game began, it appeared that the Sun Devils might be doing just that. ASU looked tentative and flat coming out of the gates. They turned the ball over early and often, but Washington could not capitalize on the Devils' miscues. The Sun Devils trailed 13-11 early in the game, but then went on a 14-0 run to build a comfortable 12-point lead.

Washington would not go away, though. The Huskies answered with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 25-22 with a little over 5 minutes left in the half. ASU fought to rebuild part of their lead going into the locker room for halftime. They enjoyed a 39-31 advantage at intermission.

After the break, Chad Prewitt started to heat up. He began nailing mid-range jumpers and lay-ups with regularity. At the final buzzer, the senior had posted his career scoring high with 33 points and barely missed a double double by grabbing nine boards. His 21 points in the second half kept the Devils in the lead throughout the second stanza, despite an early second half charge mounted by the Huskies that cut the Devil lead to 55-52 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the game.

Junior Curtis Millage turned in another strong effort for ASU. His 17 points (including a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe) were a very nice compliment to Big Red's career night. Additionally, Millage added five rebounds to help offset his seven turnovers.

Tommy Smith and Donnell Knight also posted double-digit point totals for the Sun Devils, scoring 14 and 10, respectively. Tommy got into early foul trouble, but was able to stay away from his fifth foul and remain in the game for its duration, adding 6 rebounds in his 21 minutes. This marked the second straight double digit scoring effort for Knight and the Sun Devils needed his production because Awvee Storey went out with an injury early in the second half. Donnell stepped up nicely and pulled in four rebounds of his own.

In the end, ASU's poise and rebounding advantage (40-26) were enough to overcome a tremendous performance by UW's star, Doug Wrenn. He dropped in 30 points and corralled seven boards, but the other Huskies did not give him enough support to get the win.

All Sun Devil fans should be happy that the Devils were able to win a game they should have won tonight, despite coming out a little flat. The team is maturing and beating the teams they should beat. Now ASU needs to prove they can win big games on the road. They will have their chance in the next two weeks when they travel to USC, UCLA, and Arizona. A win or two on the trip would be a sign of the marked improvement made by the Devils since the beginning of 2002.

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