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Washington Huskies win close one in Tempe over Arizona State Sun Devils 89-85

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Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of the Washington Huskies' trip to the desert didn't go the same route as the second half of their matchup against the Arizona Wildcats. Instead of folding after the decimation at the hands of the Cats, the Dawgs took the lead early against the Arizona State Sun Devils and never let up, almost leading wire to wire and never trailing in their 89-85 victory.

Andrews' offense was the main Husky storyline of the first half. He scored 18 points on 8-9 shooting from the field, with his buzzer-beating, untied shoelace, step back jumper the exclamation point. He also handed out six assists to teammates, a game-high for the first half. The first of the fifth-year senior's points came during the Dawgs' game-opening 9-0 run. He hit two jumpers, one being a three, and scored seven of UW's first 14 points., but he obviously wasn't done there.

The first half also included, unsurprisingly, foul trouble for the Huskies prone to it: Marquese Chriss, Noah Dickerson and Malik DIme all entered the break with three. Chriss couldn't make it 90 seconds into the second half before hitting the bench with his fourth. That forced Malik DIme to stick in the game after he picked his fourth foul up. He then subsequently picked up his fifth foul defending the rim in transition.

The second half featured Arizona State fighting to stay in each and every possession despite the UW offense continuing to keep heated, with Dejounte Murray leading the way. His 11 points kept the Dawgs in front, but the final blows were struck by less-heralded freshmen Dominic Green and Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle's only baskets of the contest were dagger threes  in the last several minutes.

The lone UW senior was the one to cough the ball up multiple times in the waning moments, as Andrews had two turnovers in the final minute and a half without even making it to half court. Murray also had one of his own, on a play that when reviewed showed he touched the ball last before it went out of bounds - though it may have been because he was fouled.

Eventually Arizona State was forced to foul and hardly attempt to steal anything more than the inbound pass, and then Andrews' free throw prowess reared its head once again as he hit six in the closing minute to reach his end-of-game total of 30.

DOTS

  • Dominic Green has completely overtaken Donaven Dorsey's playing time as a sharpshooting wing. He was the spell wing whenever Matisse Thybulle or Dejounte Murray needed a blow. He showed hustle on loose balls, a willingness to set screens (very much needed when the Huskies were down on bigs in the second half) and most importantly a quick and accurate stroke. 

  • Washington's foul trouble is, well, troubling. Dime and Chriss combined for 29 minutes and each fouled out. DIckerson had four of his own, as did Murray. Without Devenir Duruisseau due to a concussion sustained in practice, the lack of interior guys showed as the Sun Devils were able to score inside far too easily. Murray's trouble can be more attributed to him relying on his hands for defense instead of his feet. He is really talented at swiping for the ball, but without positioning himself properly, fouls and blowbys are going to continue to be issues for him.

  • Andrews set a career mark for assists with 12. This season is the first time he has been the primary ball handler an he has made the transition better than I had expected, but the glut of shooters and playmakers around him certainly doesn't hurt.