Hoopsters suffer another overtime blow

Mike Jensen was not able to get off a layin as time expired, giving Arizona State a hard-fought 79-77 victory over Washington in overtime on Autograph Day in front of 6,983 Romar Rowdies at BOA Arena Saturday. Shawn Redhage led the Devils with 29 points.

"I was very pleased with how hard my guys played tonight," Arizona State Head Coach Rob Evans said. "Shawn (Redhage) played extremely well and that just comes from being a senior. He kept us in the game and played well tonight.

"I thought this was an important game for us and it was nice to get the sweep on the road this weekend. Our team did a good job of finishing out tonight."

With the victory, ASU improves their Pac-10 record to 7-4 and 15-7 overall. Washington, with their second heartbreaking loss in three days, drops to 3-8 in league play and 8-12 overall.

The Huskies had their chance to go ahead with 11 seconds left, as Bobby Jones stole an errant ASU pass, but was not able to convert the layin, ultimately fouling Redhage. Shawn cooly put down the two free throws he was not able to earlier in regulation, sealing the win for Arizona State. Will Conroy dished the ball off to Jensen just as the horn sounded, denying the Dawgs an easy opportunity to push the game to a second overtime frame.

"This was very disappointing," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said after the game. "Our kids played their hearts out twice and have nothing to show for it. It is like digging ditches all week and getting no paycheck at the end. I feel like our guys deserved to win two ball games. The sadness you see in me is that I feel bad for our guys.

"There are things down the stretch we could have done better. We put ourselves in positions to win and we didn't win."

"It hurts a lot," said Nate Robinson, Washington's leading scorer with 20 points. "It is frustrating that we are not getting breaks at all. Besides hustling and fighting for every game, it hurts in our hearts to get two losses.

"Everyone brings different things to the table. I try to bring energy. We all have to make ourselves one body. Coach Romar is the heart of the team. If the heart stops, the body stops. We will keep fighting even harder."

Both teams were tight early, with ASU's Jason Braxton and Robinson trading baskets. Nate provided all of UW's offense for the first 8:06 of the game, as the Sun Devils pushed out to a 13-5 advantage.

Washington tried to change things up with 7:19 left, trailing 24-13. They went into a 2-3 zone and two minutes later the Sun Devils matched with a zone of their own. The Huskies went on a 7-0 run to bring the ASU lead to 7 with 3:09 left, punctuated by an emphatic Mike Jensen rejection of an ASU shot that got the crowd off it's feet.

The Devils' Shawn Redhage made two free throws to bump their lead back to 9, but that's when the Dawgs made their late run. A Curtis Allen three-ball with 37 seconds left capped off another 7-0 run to finish out the half with the home town crowd really starting to get into it. ASU had their chances with some good perimeter passing but couldn't drain the open looks the Washington 2-3 zone gave them.

Arizona State shot .333 for the half, with the Huskies making 10 of the 19 shots they took during the first half, a .526 clip.

The Huskies' run continued into the second half, as Robinson's offensive acrobatics gave UW a 35-32 lead and a Bobby Jones block of a Shawn Redhage shot at 16:16 got the BOA crowd off their feet and cheering loudly.

UW continued to play their 2-3 and other than Redhage no Devil had luck from outside, but big Ike Diogu started to make his presence felt. The frosh from Garland, Texas found some seams inside and made the Dawgs pay a couple of times down the floor. With 13:38 left, ASU had a 4-point cushion as the game started to find it's rhythm.

A Jeff Day dunk courtesy of a nice Curtis Allen dish and a Mike Jensen jumper from the left wing brought out the Dawg Pack's best Cameron Crazies' imitation and the ASU lead to just one at 54-53 with 7:26 to play.

But Brandon Roy, the frosh from Garfield, brought the house down with a tip-in of a Nate Robinson coast-to-coast drive and a breakaway layin to suddenly give the Huskies a 57-54 lead.

But Rob Evans' guys didn't fold at all. Curtis Millage had a fantastic play at the 4:04 mark, stealing a streaking Nate Robinson and putting down an emphatic dunk. A Jamal Hill layin and two free throws by Redhage pushed ASU's lead to 7 with 3:04 remaining.

Then it was UW's time to make their comeback. After the Sun Devils' 8-0 run, the Huskies went on an 8-1 run of their own to force overtime. Robinson skied high to grab a rebound off a Curtis Millage miss and found a slashing Doug Wrenn, who deftly used the glass for a pretty lay-in and a tie at 67.

The Huskies can thank the Devils' poor free-throw shooting at the end of regulation for helping them force overtime. Between Redhage, Millage and Kyle Dodd, they went 1-6 during the final 32.7 seconds of the second half. ASU went 18-29 from the charity stripe for the game, Washington went 15-19. Three of those misses came from Brandon Roy.

Millage put up a desperation 3 at the end, but it failed to go in.

In overtime, Redhage took over, scoring 8 of Arizona State's 12 points. Will Conroy did the same for Washington, busting a three from way downtown to bring down the house and ASU's lead. The Dawg Pack did their best to keep the young Husky team in the game, but they couldn't overcome Redhage's hot hand.

"We are going out on the road and we have to get them to believe and understand that it is almost there," Romar said. "It is going to be a challenge to get us on an emotionally high level and go out on the road again when we do not play well on the road."

Nate goes southpaw: During warmups, Nate Robinson buried 5 three-point bombs in a row. Left-handed. This prompted David Hudson to try one right-handed. David didn't fare as well.

Balanced scoring: UW had five players score in double digits, only the second time they have done that all year. The other time was against Wyoming on December 5th. In that game, Wrenn had 18, Conroy 13, Allen 12, Jones 11 and CJ Massingale 10.

Overtime madness: The Arizona and Arizona State overtime games is the first time since February 11 & 13 of 1988 that Washington has played back-to-back OT games. The Huskies are 0-3 in OT games this season

Improving from the line: After missing four of its fist six free throws, the Huskies then went 13-13 the rest of the way.

Dry Spell: Between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, Washington held ASU scoreless for 8 minutes and 14 seconds. The Devils did the same to the Dawgs in the first half, holding them scoreless for 4 minutes and 12 seconds at one stretch.


Points: Robinson 20, Conroy 16, Jones 10, Wrenn 10, Allen 10, Roy 5, Jensen 4, Day 2

Rebounds: Jensen 8, Wrenn 6, Robinson 6, Conroy 5, Roy 2, Jones 2

Assists: Robinson 3, Conroy 3, Allen 2, Roy 2, Jensen 2, Wrenn 1

Steals: Wrenn 3, Jones 1, Jensen 1, Robinson 1, Roy 1

Blocks: Jensen 2, Jones 1, Wrenn 1

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