Dawgs survive desert scare

TEMPE - With the Arizona State Sun Devils winless in league play and the Washington Huskies winless this year on the road, something was going to give. What the Huskies didn't know was that the Devils were going to roll over and play dead in the first half, only to come out with all guns blazing in the second.

Led by the 15 points and 12 rebounds of Jon Brockman, as well as 13 points each from Spencer Hawes, Justin Dentmon and Ryan Appleby, the Huskies (14-7, 4-6) scrapped their way to a 66-61 win at Wells Fargo Arena Thursday night in front of 7164 in attendance.

The Devils in improbable fashion, made a game out of it, coming out of the locker room for the second half and putting a 17-4 run together. First-year Head Coach Herb Sendek did his best to get all of ASU as fired up as possible when two technicals were called on him with 13:16 left. ASU guard Antwi Atuahene dove for a loose ball that Appleby was trying to gather in, and Atuahene was called for a foul.

Sendek was trying to send a message to the fans that his players were playing hard, but the referees appeared to get a different message from his strong, outward display of emotion.

As he left the court he punched both arms to the sky a few times as those in Wells Fargo still hanging around went bananas.

"I was hit with a technical because I was trying to incite the crowd," Sendek said afterward. "I thought after I explained myself that I was alright. It was the first time in my career (to be thrown out of a game).

"Coach (Sendek) violated rule 1096 inciting an undesirable response from the crowd after he had been asked not to do that," lead official Michael Reed said after the game.

Four Appleby free throws later, the Huskies held a 54-38 lead. But the Devils continues to peel away at UW's huge half-time bulge, eventually getting the game down to three points - 61-58 - on Allen Morrill's two free throws with 1:14 left.

But from that point forward, UW was able to hold the Devils scoreless until 0:04 left in the game, and by that time they held a 66-58 lead. Dentmon came up clutch with a driving layin to put Washington up 63-58 and they would never look back. Senior Brandon Burmeister made a key steal to retain possession, and the Devils had no choice but to foul Dentmon, who calmly made two from the line.

By that point, the Devils' luck had run out. They went 20-20 from the stripe in the second half, part of an amazing 40-22 comeback that just felt short.

Washington hit the ground running with a Brockman breakaway dunk to start the game, and they never let up on the gas, cruising to a 23-point lead at half. They shot a red-hot 65 percent from the field (17-26) and out-rebounded the Devils 19-9 during that time.

Christian Polk led the Sun Devils with a game-high 18 points, while Jeff Pendergraph chipped in 11 points, and Allen Morrill and Jerren Shipp tallied 10 each for ASU (6-15, 0-10)

The game appeared finished in the first half, where a stifling Husky defense held ASU to 32 percent shooting from the field and 21 points overall, the lowest first-half point total for a Washington opponent all season long. Over half of ASU's first-half points came via three, as Polk scored 9 of his game-high points.
Points: Brockman 15, Dentmon 13, Appleby 13, Hawes 13, Pondexter 8, Nelson 2, Gasser 2
Rebounds: Brockman 12, Hawes 7, Dentmon 5, Burmeister 3, Nelson 2, TEAM 2, Wallace 1, Oliver 1, Pondexter 1
Assists: Dentmon 3, Appleby 2, Burmeister 2, Pondexter 2, Brockman 1, Nelson 1, Wallace 1, Oliver 1, Hawes 1, Gasser 1
Steals: Wallace 2, Hawes 2, Nelson 1, Appleby 1, Burmeister 1, Pondexter 1
Blocks: Brockman 1, Appleby 1, Burmeister 1

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