Washington senior Andrew Andrews missed Friday’s practice with an ankle injury, but he is expected to play. “Even if the foot was broke I would try to play,” Andrews said following Thursday’s 99-67 defeat at No. 18 Arizona.
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Huskies practiced Friday afternoon without their leader, Andrew Andrews, who sat out to rest a sprained right ankle.
However, he gave every indication that he would play Saturday when the Washington men’s basketball team attempts to recover from a 32-point drubbing and salvage a road trip split with a win at Arizona State.
“Even if the foot was broke I would try to play,” Andrews said following Thursday’s 99-67 defeat at No. 18 Arizona. “It doesn’t really matter what’s going on with my ankle.”
On Friday, Lorenzo Romar practically guaranteed Andrews is returning to the lineup for the 4 p.m. tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena.
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“We’re pretty sure he’ll play,” the UW coach said. “If we played a game (Friday), then he probably would have been hobbling. He probably would have been able to go, but he wouldn’t have been 100 percent.
“Another 24 hours and he’ll be a lot better.”
The Huskies (11-5, 3-1 in Pac-12) need Andrews, UW’s lone senior and captain, to be better than he was Thursday when Arizona held him to a season-low nine points – 11 fewer than his Pac-12 leading 20.8 points per game.
Before Thursday, Andrews averaged 29.3 against Pac-12 opponents. But the Wildcats clogged the middle with a big front line that impeded his path the basket and kept him off the free-throw line.
Andrews, who leads the conference with 154 free-throw attempts, took just four foul shots. He didn’t have a three-pointer for the first time in 12 games and Arizona snapped his 26-game streak of scoring at least 10 points.
“We couldn’t make shots,” Romar said. “And it didn’t open it up for anyone.”
Andrews’ 3-for-11 shooting was symbolic of a UW team that converted just 30.3 percent of its shots – 10 of 33 field goals and 2 of 12 three-pointers – in the second half.
It remains to be seen how the Huskies bounce back from their worst loss of the season.
“We know that we just dropped a big one and we got embarrassed (by Arizona),” Andrews said. “We’ve got to come out with some passion and fire at Arizona State.”
Since Romar arrived at Washington in 2002, there’s been three times when the Huskies lost to the Wildcats in the first game of the Arizona road trip. In each occasion, they beat Arizona State in the next game to earn a split.
Romar’s UW teams are 10-2 at ASU, including a four-game winning streak.
Most of those wins came against former Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek, who was fired last year and replaced by Bobby Hurley, the former All-American guard at Duke.
Several Sun Devils remain from their 78-68 upset win at Washington last year, including leading scorers Tra Holder (16.5 ppg.) and Gerry Blakes (10.7).
“I know how intense Bobby Hurley was,” Romar said. “They’re not going to quit.”
The bigger question for UW fans is how will the freshman-laden Huskies respond to their first setback in the Pac-12?
“It’s going to be a challenge for us,” Romar said. “But our guys have answered the bell a lot of times.”