Things almost literally could not go any worse than they did on Tuesday night when the Huskies lost by 37 points at Arizona State. In the rematch less than 48 hours later things got dramatically better but still not as well as Washington would’ve liked. The Sun Devils scored the final 8 points in the last minute to break a tie and secure an 80-72 ASU win. The loss drops Washington to 5-19 (4-15) on the year with just one game left in the regular season.
Washington got out in front 7-2 on Tuesday against ASU before things went south in a hurry and found themselves in the opposite situation tonight. Remy Martin had ASU’s first 7 points as well as 9 of their first 11 as he repeatedly beat his man off the dribble and there was no help defense protecting the rim. The last of those layups put the Sun Devils up by a score of 11-5 with 16:05 left in the first half.
The Huskies got back in the game though when their outside shot started falling. After a Quade Green layup started off the scoring for Washington, the next 3 Husky baskets were all 3-pointers and helped tie the game at 11 (by Green, Stevenson, and Wright). Remy Martin continued to be on a warpath and started to hit the pull-up midrange jumper when his path to the basket wasn’t there. An Arizona State putback put the Sun Devils back up 19-12 and threatened to break things wide open.
Washington answered by trying to take the ball inside and Hameir Wright and Nate Roberts ended up getting fouled on shots at the basket 3 times and combined to make 4 of the 6 foul shots to keep pace. Marcus Tsohonis missed a floater but got the rebound after a skirmish on the floor and got fouled on the putback for a 3-point play to tie the game again at 21 with 8:30 left in the first half.
The rest of the half became a back and forth affair as neither team led by more than 4 points. Cole Bajema passed up an open shot and drove into a charge call but the next possession took the same 3-pointer he had just passed up and made it to put the Huskies back in the lead. Shortly after Quade Green let his defender fly past him on a nice pump fake and knocked down another 3 giving UW a 29-25 advantage and forcing a Bobby Hurley timeout.
ASU countered with a 10-2 run that flipped the tables and put them up by 4. Remy Martin started to get hot from deep and hit the Sun Devils’ only two 3-pointers of the half. The first was practically from the logo and the second was a wild heave trying to draw a foul that somehow swished through. Washington turned to Jamal Bey’s slashing game over the final two possessions of the half and he got them 4 points to tie the game at 35. Once again Martin tried to jump into a defender on a 3-pointer but again didn’t get the call and we went to the half with the score even.
Martin had a game high 19 points for Arizona State while Kimari Lawrence nearly had a double double with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Jamal Bey led Washington with 9 points and 4 rebounds while Quade Green had 8 points. UW held a narrow 20-19 rebound advantage and a narrow 7-5 turnover deficit.
Arizona State came out with 5 quick points including their first 3-pointer of the game in the first minute plus of the second half and Hop instantly called timeout to try to regroup. After missing their first shot of the second half the Sun Devils made their next 7 from the floor with 0 turnovers in that span.
Washington somehow kept pace though as they continued to shoot well from the 3-point line with Bey and Stevenson both knocking down shots. Twice the Huskies managed to get a layup or dunk off an inbounds play that happened fast enough that the TV broadcast hadn’t cut back to the game yet. Hameir Wright had what may have been the play of the game when after he got a steal he threw a 50-foot two-handed outlet pass perfectly to Erik Stevenson who streaked down the court for a layup. On the next possession Stevenson hit a 3-pointer which gave UW back the lead at 54-52 with 13:10 remaining.
Until the closing minutes of the game neither team would be able to hold a sizable advantage. Things went back and forth with the score ending up tied at 62, 64, 66, and 72 while neither team managed a lead of more than 3 points. With the Huskies trailing 70-72 Quade Green got a fastbreak layup chance and was fouled but couldn’t get the shot to fall then compounded it by missing both free throws. Fortunately ASU missed a layup and Cole Bajema leaked out to receive the outlet pass and tie the game at 72 with 1:57 left.
Quade Green’s...good defense (ok, it was a flop) drew a charge and UW had a chance to seize control but Jamal Bey’s corner 3-pointer didn’t fall. ASU hit a pair of free throws at the other end and once again the 3-point shot abandoned Washington late as Tsohonis was short on a wing attempt which ASU secured. The Sun Devils were still not in the double bonus after UW fouled Kimani Lawrence who was 3/7 from the line at that point. Unfortunately he came up clutch and knocked both down to essentially clinch it. ASU didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory down the stretch as up 6 with 10 seconds left they tried for a highlight reel dunk that ended up bouncing in and Remy Martin clapped in Quade Green’s ear during his missed free throws.
Give credit to Mike Hopkins for some coaching adjustments to essentially make up 30 points from Tuesday night. Yes, the Huskies hit shots they weren’t hitting on Tuesday but Washington took advantage of ASU’s smaller 6’0 guards by posting them up and either turning around for short jumpers or kicking out to wide open shooters. UW’s guards proved they couldn’t consistently beat ASU off the dribble so instead they used the post-up game and it largely worked as UW shot 41% on 3-point attempts.
Four Huskies ended the night in double figures led by Quade Green’s 16. Bey had 14 points and 6 rebounds, Stevenson had 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Bajema had 11 points on incredibly efficient 4/4 shooting. Bajema’s play at the end of the season is reminiscent of Jamal Bey showing flashes in the last month of his true freshman year.
Washington essentially fell entirely at the hands of the duo of Remy Martin and Kimani Lawrence. Martin had 31 points and just 1 turnover when Quade kind of flopped in the final 2 minutes while Lawrence had 21 points and 20 rebounds as ASU’s only post presence. The Sun Devils who were down to just 7 scholarship players because of injuries ended the game with 0 bench points.
The Huskies return to the court on Saturday at 11a PT on CBS to face Arizona in the regular season finale which will complete their stint of 8 games in 16 days. Because of the re-worked COVID schedule the Huskies will have a full 10 days off before the start of the Pac-12 tournament.