Huskies Edge Devils 66-61

When you're winless in the Pac-10 you're looking for any way to light a fire under your team. Herb Sendek's incitement of the home crowd and a subsequent ejection was almost enough to get his squad off the snide. Alas, a dreadful first half put the Sun Devils in too big of a hole to climb out of.

At the 13:16 mark of the second half, on a lose ball foul against ASU's Antwi Atuahene, in which the player dove head first to claim the ball, the ASU head coach tried to pump up the 7,164 in attendance and get them to recognize a great hustle play. However, the referees took it as he was urging the crowd to boo the Refs, which according to Sendek was far from the truth.

"I wanted to crowd to recognize that in a special way, which was no different than Steve Jones going into the scores table," said Sendek regarding his first technical. "After I explained my rational I spontaneously did it again because I felt a great adrenalin rush and wanted the environment to be one we appreciate those type of plays, and then he (referee Michael Reed) gave me a second technical, and then I was out of their for the first time in my career."

Sendek opened the game with an interesting twist to his normal starting line-up, benching Christian Polk who has started all nine conference games and giving Steve Jones his first start in conference play. The Maroon and Gold fell behind early and watched the visitors from Seattle have their way on the court. Washington scored their first point three seconds into the game on an exploding dunk that was a prelude to the course of the game the first twenty minutes. ASU was able to keep it close until 8:40 remained in the half when Washington opened up on an eight point lead 22-14.

The Huskies went on a 22-7 run, shooting 65% from the field and convincingly controlling the boards. The halftime score was 44-21 and few believed that the Sun Devils would fair much better in the second half.

The maroon and gold have been known to come out of the gates in the second half with energy and poise, and tonight the team had both on their side. ASU slowly flirted with a comeback until 13:16 was left and the Devils were able to cut the Huskies lead to 10. At that point Sendek was ejected, which only helped his team on the floor. "I have seen him act emotional like that in practice," commented Antwi Atuahene in reference to Herb Sendek's ejection. "But he let it lose today his energy gave us a lot more energy."

Under the guidance of associate head coach Mark Phelps, ASU rode the emotional momentum and kept chipping away at Washington's lead. With nine minutes remaining ASU was down eight, then down five with two minutes remaining, much thanks to which Christian Polk's nine second half points. "We battled and clawed and fought our way through the second half. We regrouped and put ourselves in a position to win," commented Sendek who was trying to sneak peaks at the game from the exit tunnel.

With 1:14 remaining and the Devils down by three Jerren Shipp was able to steal the ball giving ASU one more shot, however he turned the ball over and any chance at a comeback as the Huskies prevailed 66-61.

ASU had a season best 20-20 from the free throw line in the second half. Christian Polk led all scorers with 18 points. The Sun Devils held the Huskies to five field goals and 23.8% shooting in the second half and forced 13 turnovers in the second half and 19 total for the game. Jeff Pendergraph added 11 points and shooting a perfect 7-7 from the Charity strip. Jon Brockman paced the Huskies with 15 points 12 rebounds.

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