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Game Recap: Arizona State Washed by Huskies' Zone Defense

The Sun Devils traveled to Washington for the first of a two-game road trip, first taking on the Huskies on Thursday night.

All week, talk surrounding the Arizona State Sun Devils centered around their efforts in a recent three-game stretch that saw ASU play ranked teams such as USC, UCLA and Arizona. 

Although the Sun Devils went 1-2 during that stretch, their play was considered acceptable given the obvious gaps in talent combined with the short amount of time those games were played in. 

ASU faithful could concede a losing record during those five days, so long as the Sun Devils turned those strong runs of play into results moving forward. 

Thursday's road game at Washington provided a test to do exactly that. 

However, the Huskies would have other ideas.

The Sun Devils would see close margins throughout the game, yet Arizona State proved to be the inferior squad through both halves despite Washington being down to an eight-man rotation.

ASU has now lost their fifth straight road contest while winning just one of their last seven games. 

Here's how the action unfolded during a blowout 87-64 loss in Seattle:

First Half Recap


G- DJ Horne
G- Jay Heath
F- Jalen Graham
F- Kimani Lawrence
F- Alonzo Gaffney

It was another slow start for Arizona State, who trailed 12-4 in the early goings of the game. 

The Huskies' lead grew to a 19-9 advantage at the under-12 media timeout with Arizona State making just three of their first 17 shot attempts, including shooting 0-for-5 from downtown. 

Washington's 2-3 zone defense and active hands proved to be too much for ASU in the first half, keeping the Sun Devils in check for majority of the opening 20 minutes of play by clogging passing lanes and forcing turnovers.

The Huskies would eventually grow their lead to 20, leading ASU 39-19 thanks to a Jamal Bey three-point shot, forcing Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley to call a timeout with 4:44 remaining. 

However, Arizona State would find a streak of their own, going on a 13-1 run to climb their way back into action towards the end of the half, with nine of those 13 points coming from three-point shots. 

The Huskies would ultimately carry a 42-32 lead into the break. 

Washington would see 13 foul shots compared to Arizona State's seven, while out-pacing the Sun Devils 12-0 in fastbreak points. 

Historically, ASU has struggled to shoot from downtown this season. The Sun Devils again saw a poor effort in that category, shooting just 25% from behind the line in the first half. 

Second Half Recap

Arizona State would draw as close as seven points in the early stages of the second half thanks to early contributions from forward Kimani Lawrence. 

However, the Huskies would see their lead climb back up to 13 points thanks to a small 8-2 run, forcing Hurley to again call timeout with 14:19 left. 

An and-one play from Washington guard Terrell Brown Jr. would give the Huskies the 68-50 advantage at the 11:13 media timeout. 

The Sun Devils would once again find themselves down by 20+ in the second half, as the Huskies would extend their run to 18-2 in a four-minute span. ASU would turn the ball over five times during that span.

At the under-eight media timeout, ASU would trail 79-54.

The Sun Devils would switch to full-court pressure down the stretch in order to limit Washington's offensive prowess, yet ASU would fail to cut into the Huskies' large lead with five minutes left. 

Washington would eventually bleed to clock out with a final score of 87-64.

Stat Leaders

Points- Lawrence (15)
Rebounds- Graham (8)
Assists- Jackson (6)

What's Next

The Sun Devils will have no time to rest, as another road test in the form of Washington State awaits them on Saturday evening.