Huskies get split in desert

Huskies get split in desert

Scott Suggs buried a three-pointer deep in the corner with 25 seconds remaining in the game to push the Huskies to a 68-59 win at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona this evening.

ASU had fought back from a 12-point Husky lead, as the Huskies were clinging to a three-point lead with 1:04 remaining. Out of a time out, Lorenzo Romar had his team weave the ball on top to get the shot clock down to 10 seconds. From there, Gaddy sliced through the key, drawing two defenders to him as he penetrated. He floated in the air and delivered a deft pass to Suggs, who was waiting in the corner just as Romar had drawn it up. He took the pass and calmly swished it to all but wrap up the win for the Huskies.

Suggs finished with 16 points and four rebounds to pace the Huskies. Andrew Andrews and Abdul Gaddy finished with 13 apiece, and Gaddy added 7 assists with zero turnovers while Andrews added two blocks, two steals, and 1 assist while not turning the ball over.

Aziz N'diaye added 10 boards and some tough interior defense.

The Huskies shot 48% from the field and 75% from the free throw line, a huge improvement over their past few games.

It was an ugly beginning to the game. First possession for ASU, a Sean Kemp Jr. foul was whistled. The first Husky possession resulted in an offensive foul on C.J. Wilcox. The third Husky possession, Wilcox off a steal hits Gaddy, who gets his shot blocked and Wilcox is blocked on the rebound. Finally on the fourth try, Kemp hit a 15-footer from the elbow.

Somehow after Suggs buried a three, the Huskies had an early lead. Ruslan Pateev was an early force for ASU, with two thundering dunks.

Gaddy floater in the lane followed by a Simmons jumper from 15 and the Huskies led 11-7. CJ Wilcox was 0-4 from the field, 0-3 on three-point shots, and it was apparent that his foot was bothering him. He had trouble getting enough lift on his shot and his defense was laboring at the 12:00 media time out.

Suggs heated up with back-to-back threes and Herb Sendek called time out with the Huskies up 18-13 and Suggs scoring 10 of those. Washington held that lead until Aziz N'Diaye lost Pateev underneath again for an uncontested jam, and when Jonathan Gilling nailed a three, the game was tied. Sean Kemp had the play of the first half when he took a Gaddy feed, leapt over Pateev, and jammed it home with authority. It buoyed the Huskies, who had begun to falter a bit on offense.

The Huskies were able to ride that wave of momentum to the half with a 32-28 lead. However Scott Suggs went down hard on the final ASU possession and barely made it to the locker room under his own power. His hip was extremely sore. He had hit 4 of 6 at that point in the game whereas Wilcox was 0-6. Aziz N'Diaye was two of two and Desmond Simmons was 2 for 3.

Kemp for two, Suggs for three, and the Huskies had a seven point advantage. When Andrew Andrews hit a put back of an N'Diaye miss the Husky lead grew to 8 at 43-35. It was a solid opening four minutes to the second half. Washington was outrebounding ASU by a 22-11 mark to that point in the game. Herb Sendek was reading his big men the riot act.

When Andrews hit a lay in over the 7-2 Jordan Bachynski, the Husky lead reached 10. It stayed that way when Andrews followed it with another, this one over Pateev. After an ASU turnover, Gaddy connected on a 17-footer and the Huskies had a 49-37 lead. The crowd started buzzing and Sendek unloaded again in his huddle. Romar kept cajoling his undermanned troops to play defense and keep on outrebounding the bigger Sun Devils.

With 9:00 left, Romar barked out a command from the bench. It resulted in CJ Wilcox driving the lane and while floating for what looked like a shot attempt, dumped it to Sean Kemp Jr for an easy lay in, putting the Huskies on top by 12 again.

ASU then made a run. Back to back ASU buckets followed a forced jump ball on Kemp, and the crowd came alive. However Gilling walked with the basketball. Washington led 55-47 with 7:50 remaining.

Out of the time out, Wilcox hit a heavily defended jumper in the lane to push it back to a double digit lead. Carrick Felix answered with two free throws. A Wilcox open miss led to a Felix trey in transition and the lead was quickly down to five. Lorenzo called time out and implored his tiring team to keep playing defense and not let up on rotations.

Three straight consecutive empty possessions by Washington were followed by a silly N'Diaye foul on an ASU air ball. However the free throw was missed, giving Washington yet another possession. This one ended in an N'Diaye missed layup. Gilling hit a driving lay in and drew a Suggs foul. He missed the free throw but the lead was just three and Washington was looking shaky on offense. When Andrew Andrews was hacked on the arm and threw up an air ball, the ref did not have the guts to blow his whistle. Romar was beside himself and when Eric Jacobsen got an offensive board and made the put back, the lead was one. The arena was at its loudest and the Huskies were at their worst with just 3:32 remaining.

Andrews went to the line after the time out with a one and one. He calmly swished the first one while facing a sea of students waving all kinds of things at him. His second one bounced in and the Huskies look like they'd stemmed the tide, clinging to a three point advantage.

Jahii Carson had a three that went half way down but came out that would've tied the game. When Kemp missed a hook, Andrews skied for an offensive rebound, giving the Huskies yet another possession at the 2:00 mark. At the Husky huddle during the timeout, he looked at Suggs and Wilcox and asked them, "Do you want this? You got this!"

Romar drew up an offensive set that would kill some clock. Out of the time out Gaddy milked the shot clock to 8 before burying a 15-footer to push the Huskies on top 61-56.

Carson hit a driving lay-in with 1:04 left. Time out. Romar went back to work in his huddle. He drew up a high-post play that would get Wilcox and Suggs involved. They weaved the clock down to 10 and then Gaddy found Suggs in the far corner open. As the pass floated toward Suggs, you could hear the crowd go, "Oh Crap!"

As the ball was in the air you could hear the crowd gasp as one.

Swish.

Game over. The fans then streamed to the exits in hordes as the Huskies finished off a hard fought 68-59 road win in Wells Fargo.

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