Andrew Andrews scored 30 points — five shy of his personal best — to lead the Huskies to a hard-fought 89-85 victory.
TEMPE, Ariz. – As a boy growing up in Portland, Andrew Andrews dreamed of moments just like this with the ball in his hands and the game on the line.
“That’s the moment I live for,” he said. “I used to be the kid in the backyard counting down with the crowd in my head and thinking that if you miss this shot, you guys lose.
“I used to always do that, so it was kind of normal.”
The Huskies gave the ball to their star guard and Andrews, who played on a sore right ankle, delivered when it mattered most – connecting on six straight free throws in the final minute to carry Washington to an 89-85 win over Arizona State on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
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Andrews’ making big plays at the end to seal a victory is becoming a common theme this season for a UW men’s basketball team that likes to ride the line of daring and dangerous.
Nothing comes easy for the young Huskies, who led by 12 points early in the second half and were up by 10 with less than two minutes left but had difficulty putting the Sun Devils away.
When backup forward Malik Dime fouled out with 15:52 remaining, it felt as if short-handed Washington might run out of bodies considering its other big men, Noah Dickerson and Marquese Chriss, had at least three fouls.
The Huskies were also without reserve forward Devenir Duruisseau, who remained in Seattle after suffering a concussion in Monday’s practice.
But Washington had Andrews and he delivered a spectacular performance while scoring 30 points – five shy of his personal best – with a career-high 12 assists.
His feat was even more impressive considering there was a little uncertainty if he’d play after spraining his ankle 48 hours earlier.
“Not in my mind,” Andrews said. “Coach kept me out of shoot-around and kept me out of (Friday’s) practice just to let me rest it. So he made sure I was 100 percent.”
Maybe not 100 percent, but close to it.
“Our trainer Pat (Jenkins), he did a great job,” Andrews said. “After the Arizona trip, the whole time I was in the hotel taking ice (baths), getting in the Jacuzzi and massaging it to get the swelling down.
“The swelling was like a tennis ball. We got it down to like a golf ball by the time the game started.”
It hardly mattered. Andrews accounted for 54 points and converted 10 of 17 field goals in 36 minutes.
“He’s so dangerous because he’s got good feel (and) plays at a good pace,” ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. “He makes great reads really quick. He knows how to use his body very well to get open, even when you do defend him well.”
Dejounte Murray (19 points and nine rebounds) was the other star for the Huskies. Dickerson had 10 points.
Two days after a dismal offensive outing when they shot 30.3 percent in the second half of a 99-67 loss at Arizona, Washington came out blazing and made 57.1 percent (20 of 35) shots in the first half Saturday.
Each time, the Sun Devils looked as if they might overtake the Huskies in the second half, a UW player sank a big three-pointer.
When ASU cut UW’s advantage to three, backup guard David Crisp made back-to-back three-pointers to push UW’s lead to nine (62-53) with 12:31 left.
Then when ASU trimmed UW’s lead to two points, backup guard Dominic Green made a three-pointer that gave the Huskies a 72-67 lead with 4:23 left.
And freshman guard Matisse Thybulle knocked down two shots behind the arc to build UW’s lead to 83-75 with 1:06 remaining.
But the Sun Devils (11-7, 1-4 in Pac-12), who received 17 points from Kodi Justice off the bench, didn’t go away easily. Willie Atwood (12 points) drained a three-pointer that cut UW’s lead to 83-80 with 38 seconds left.
That’s when Andrews, who was 8 of 9 on free throws, went to the line three times when it was a one-possession game.
With the crowd of 5,652 going wild, he canned six straight foul shots.
After each Pac-12 win, coach Lorenzo Romar has used the word resiliency to describe the Huskies, who improved to 12-5 and 4-1 in conference.
“You get a split on the road anywhere in this league and it’s saying something,” he said. “And our guys did it. We know have two road wins and we’re not done with first half of conference yet. I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”
|Saturday’s resultsUW 89, Arizona State 85Arizona 90, Washington State 66|