Huskies Humble Devils with Second Half Blitz

In the end, it was too good to be true. The first half featured a red hot ASU offense that seemed to have their way with the University of Washington. Nevertheless, all night the maroon and gold defense wasn't able to handle the visitors from Seattle, which ultimately sealed the game's fate. The Huskies outscored their hosts 53-24 in the last twenty minutes, as they cruised to a 91-64 win.

Kevin Kruger scored 19 points in the opening stanza, but Arizona State (10-16, 4-13) was never able to distance themselves from a 14th ranked Washington (23-5, 12-5) team. After nine minutes of play the score was knotted up at 16-16. At the 6:24 mark the Sun Devils enjoyed their biggest lead 28-23, but with one minute left in the half they found themselves down 38-35. Thanks to a three point basket by Sylvester Seay and a buzzer beater jumper by Kruger, ASU left the court with a halftime lead of 40-38, shooting 57.7% from the field.

The home team expected a big run from the Huskies to start the second half, and unfortunately they got just that. At the 13:21 mark Washington had already outscored ASU 18-4 and employed a suffocating defense. Thus, the 56-44 deficit at that point proved too large to overcome. With 7:19 remaining in the contest, the visitors already had a 74-52 margin thanks to 6-12 shooting behind the arc and converting 11-11 shots from the charity stripe. Washington's 11 offensive rebounds in this half, were another catalyst to their commanding performance, which hasn't allowed the Sun Devils to climb out of the conference cellar.

Kruger paced all players with 23 points, but scored only four in the second half. Jeff Pendergraph notched another double-double with 15 points and 11 boards (a game-high).. ASU was only 5-16 from downtown, while Washington was a solid 11-25. The Huskies also controlled the glass, out rebounding the Devils 38-28. Mike Jensen led his team with 14 points.

"I felt like our guys were ready to play," said head coach Rob Evans. "They were focused in the first half, and we talked at halftime about coming out with intensity. I thought our guys came out (with intensity), but they (Washington) had too many bodies. They just kept running people at us and basically wore us down." When asked how he views the state of the program at this point of the season, he replied: "I feel the same way I did at the beginning of the season. We have our next game to play and that's the game we'll play and then get ready for the (Pac-10) tournament."

The Sun Devils close out the regular season on Saturday night at 6PM as they host Washington State.

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