UW Can’t Muster Defense In Loss to ASU

SEATTLE - Sunny afternoons in the Pacific Northwest are a rare occurrence in February, but wins for Washington Basketball have been even harder to come by of late. The Huskies, in the midst of the longest losing streak of the Lorenzo Romar era, had hoped to reverse their sagging fortunes with a win over the Arizona State Sun Devils Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, they got more of the same, losing 78-68 in front of an announced crowd of 6745 at Alaska Airlines Arena.

As was the case Friday night against Arizona, Donaven Dorsey connected on a deep three pointer for the Huskies first basket. Alas, it would be the team’s only bucket for the first five minutes of the game. Two weeks ago versus Oregon State, the Huskies managed just one point during the first eight minutes. In the same span against ASU, they managed just five.

Fortunately for Washington, the Huskies shooting woes were contagious as the Sun Devils floundered out of the gates as well – at least initially.

It didn’t help matters that Andrew Andrews – who played all forty minutes Friday night - picked up his second foul just four minutes into the game.

Yet despite the Huskies woeful 3-18 shooting to open the game, the Huskies trailed by just five points mid-way through the first half.

In an unexpected turn, the shots suddenly started falling for the beleaguered Dawgs. They connected on six of their next eight field goal attempts. Dorsey knocked down an 18-foot jumper from the top of the key, followed moments later by a shot-clock beating three by Nigel Williams-Goss. Mike Anderson converted an air-balled Williams-Goss three pointer into a put-back bucket on the next possession, and an Andrews three pointer at the three minute mark put finally put Washington in the lead.

Washington nearly entered halftime with their first lead in seven games, but in a fitting end to the half, Darin Johnson fouled ASU’s Tra Holder on the inbounds with .07 seconds left. Holder calmly sank both shots of the double bonus to put the Sun Devils back into the lead, 30-29.

Much like the start of the first half, both teams started slowly to begin the second period. Mike Anderson’s baseline jumper gave the Huskies a 34-32 lead at the 16:20 mark, which was immediately answered by an uncontested Savon Goodman layin.

Anderson followed a Kemp layin with a three pointer and the Huskies found themselves back in front with a six-point lead. It didn’t last. A 10-0 run by ASU closed the gap as the Sun Devils surged ahead. But the Huskies weren’t finished yet. With ASU fouling with reckless abandon, the Huskies found themselves in the bonus just eight minutes into the second half, and two made free throws from Darin Johnson tied the game at 44.

With some extra space in the lane, the Huskies shifted into attack mode, with Andrews, Willliams-Goss and Johnson taking advantage of a porous ASU interior defense. Andrews had another strong game, with 19 points on an efficient 6-11 shooting, and drilled three of his six three point attempts. Williams-Goss scored 20 points while dishing out six assists, and the UW co-captains did what they could to keep Washington in the game.

The Sun Devils were quick to bounce back, taking advantage of the Huskies lax defense. After ASU tied the score at 60. Andrews fired back, draining another long deuce, but ASU wasn’t finished. They put the final nail in UW’s coffin during a 10-0 run that put the game away. The Dawgs inability to stay in front of ASU’s guards ultimately proved to be their undoing in an otherwise winnable game.

The loss drops the Huskies to 14-11 on the season and they now turn their attention to Washington State next Sunday in Pullman.
Official Box Score:

Dawgman.com Top Stories