Tempe, AZ – The better team won at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night. Not the team with the better record, or the team with the much better shooting accuracy from the floor, but the team that got rebounds and made their free throws. The Washington Huskies (15-13 / 7-8 Pac-12) made 12-16 from the line (75%) compared to the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-8 / 9-6 Pac-12) who only hit 8-15 (53.3%). Although ASU made a run near the end of the game, the Huskies hit their shots and pulled away with the victory, 68-59.
Throughout the contest, there were some questionable calls by the officials. Also, Washington had a solid effort and played a great game, but nobody really stood out for the Sun Devils. Herb Sendek tweaked the starting line-up and gave seniors Chris Colvin and Ruslan Pateev the start. Pateev responded with some strong play in the first half and finished with 10 points. Jahii Carson and Evan Gordon also added 10 points each, but the usual double digit production from Carrick Felix and Jonathan Gilling wasn’t there. They both finished with a below average 8 points.
Overall, the Sun Devils shot 47.9% from the field compared to 48.1% for the Huskies. However, ASU was also inconsistent from three point range, hitting only 5-15 (33.3%). Those numbers combined with another poor effort at the free throw line doomed the Sun Devils in their final home game.
This loss hurt the Sun Devils for three main reasons. First off, it puts ASU back on the bubble to make the NCAA tournament. They will need to finish the season strong on the road against UCLA, USC and Arizona. Second, the loss was on Senior Night in Tempe, with Felix, Colvin, and Pateev playing their final game in Wells Fargo Arena (unless of course they end up in the NIT). And Finally, the Sun Devils missed a great opportunity to impress a big fan base that filled the arena on Saturday night.
Next up, ASU travels to Los Angeles to face the UCLA Bruins (19-7 / 9-4 Pac-12) on Wednesday night (2/27). The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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