ASU Squeaks Out an Overtime Road Victory

Sun Devil fans have been to this movie before or have they? Tonight a poor showing from the free throw line, especially in the last three minutes of regulation, did not result in another bitter loss. ASU's gritty overtime play allowed them to prevail 79-77, and sweep the Washington road trip.

The visitors from Tempe led the entire first half. Braxton scored six points in the first five minutes, and the Devils led 15-5 at the 10:24 mark. With 5:43 left in the first half ASU's lead was at it largest 27-13 behind the fine play of Shawn Redhage and Curtis Millage. However, from that point on not only were the Devils not able to increase their margin, but also allowed the Huskies to go on a 14-2 run to put the half time score at 29-27 in favor of ASU. The second half was a classic slugfest between both squads with a dozen lead changes. Redhage had a career night, and his 13 points in the second half were the biggest reason why the Devils were able to match the Huskies punch for punch. A pair of his free throws put ASU ahead 66-59 with 3:04 left. And then the free throw ghosts from the past came to haunt the Devils' once again. Four misses down the stretch gave the home team all the incentive and opportunity they needed to tie the game at 67 at the end of regulation.

The first few minutes of overtime saw the Huskies build on their second half play, and with 1:40 left in the game Washington led 75-72 after back-to-back three pointers. However, Redhage wasn't going to let his special night be wasted in a loss. The senior hit three of four free throws in the waning moments of the overtime period, along with a key rebound and block to grab the lead for good and help his team gain an invaluable road victory.

Redhage had a career high 29 points scoring eight of his team's 12 points in overtime. Jamal Hill continued his resurgence and had his second double figure game. 12 of his 14 points came in the second half and overtime. Ike Diogu had one of quietest games this season, but nevertheless scored 11 points and kept his season long double digit scoring streak alive. The freshman sensation was perfect from the field (5-5) and from the free throw line. Curtis Millage may have had a horrible game shooting (4-15), but many of his nine points were key points for the Sun Devils tonight. As mentioned ASU was dismal at the line shooting 64.3%, and their defense wasn't far behind as Washington shot 48.3%. The Devils shot 45.3% from the field, and their hot shooting from both the field and the charity stripe in overtime helped seal the deal in Seattle.

An old Basketball cliché says that a team that losses a few close games, has a hard time finding a way to win any close ones in the future. ASU has already lost a couple of two-point games to USC and Stanford, and undoubtley some of the maroon and gold faithful expected the Washington game to follow the trend. Thus, tonight's game marks much more than just another conference win. It is also a testament to Rob Evans' team that they can win the close games when needed. At the end of the season, we all may just point to this road sweep as the beginning of a successful second half of Pac-10 play.

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