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Huskies Win Tough Road Battle At ASU, 89-85

Washington used an historic performance from senior Andrew Andrews to propel them to an 89-85 win over Arizona State Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.  The win kept the Huskies at the top of the Pac-12 standings.

Andrews became the first Husky ever to score at least 30 points and have 12 assists in a game, and his final six points came by way of the free throw line to preserve a win for Washington that gave them a crucial road split after losing at Arizona 99-67. Andrews hurt his ankle during that game and broke his string of double-digit scoring games at 26. He didn’t practice Friday and was held out of shootaround pre-game Saturday - but you wouldn’t know he was limited physically by his scoreline. 

“Pat (Jenkins) did a great job of taking care of me,” Andrews said after the game. “He got me right.”

“That’s incredible,” Washington Head Coach said when told of Andrews’ stat line. “Even him having a bounce-back game, he came back and showed why he was able to lead this team to where we are right now.”

Dejounte Murray scored 19 for Washington (12-5, 4-1), and Noah Dickerson 10. Kodi Justice led six Arizona State (11-7, 1-4) players in double-digits with 17. Obinna Oleka tallied 13 for ASU, while Willie Atwood and Gerry Blakes scored 12, Tra Holder 11, and Savon Goodman 10. 

The Huskies started out with energy and focus on both ends of the court, running out to a 9-0 start and after the Sun Devils roared back to tie the game at 18 with 11:41 remaining to the half, Washington raced back out to another big lead, eventually finishing the half up 44-34 after Andrews buried a deep two-pointer. 

“I just tried to give our guys a spark early,” Andrews said. “If we do get a couple buckets early I think that helps us out on defense and kind of gets us going. Today we started to get in the lanes, started to get a couple steals and started getting offense through our defense, and we started playing better as a team.”

But just as they have seemingly all year long, Washington suffered greatly from front court foul troubles. By halftime Dickerson, Marquese Chriss, and Malik Dime each had three fouls. By the 15:52 mark of the second half, Dime had fouled out. 

“It’s unfortunate,” Romar said of the foul trouble. “They came out ready. They were playing with a lot of life and energy. Credit to our smaller lineup; they out-rebounded (ASU).”

For long stretches, the Huskies had to go smaller, with Dominic Green playing a season-high 20 minutes. He hit a big three with 4:23 left after the Sun Devils’ Holder had cut Washington’s lead to two. 

“It was great to see that happen,” Romar said of Green’s peformance. “Dominic has been working hard. He’s been staying after practice. His attitude has been phenomenal. When that happens you want to reward someone for that.”

Fellow frosh Matisse Thybulle added some dagger three-pointers late, including one with 66 seconds remaining that gave the Huskies an eight-point lead. Andrews found himself buried in the corner, but was able to rise and fire a cross-court pass to Thybulle, who canned the long-range effort in front of a stunned ASU crowd. 

“We work on it; if you get doubled you know the guy that’s going to be open is going to be that far guy in the corner,” Andrews said of the play. “I kind of jumped and knew he would be there. We work on it in practice and that’s one of those times where practice makes perfect, and it worked out well for us. He’s been shooting the ball pretty well all year.”

Arizona State was able to force a couple of turnovers and cut the deficit down to as little as two points with eight seconds to play, but each time ASU would make a shot the Huskies were able to get the ball to Andrews. He made six-straight free throws to salt away the win. 

“I don’t feel like I got the calls I wanted on a couple of those turnovers down there; I thought they were hitting my arms,” Andrews said. “That kind of made me a little more mad to make the free throws and step up. I didn’t want to let my team down.”

“For our guys to come out this way, the way we played at Arizona, guys answered with big shots on the road,” added Romar. “Guys grew up another notch, I believe, this weekend.

“As we told the team, sometimes when you’re younger and you haven’t been through it before, you think it’s a great win, but you may not understand the magnitude and significance of this win until later on.”

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