BY Bob Sherwin 01:03PM 01/22/2011

UW-Arizona State Game Thread

The Washington Huskies move to 7-1 in Pac-10 play for first time since 1987, when they went 20-15 and earned a berth in the NIT.

Washington forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning needs six steals for 100 career steals and 100 blocks. (Drew McKenzie/Sportspress Northwest)

Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored a career-high 30 points as he was the force in the middle for the Washington Huskies in their 88-75 victory over Arizona State Saturday afternoon.

Bryan-Amaning found his way through the Sun Devils (9-10, 1-6 in the Pac-10) tough 2-3 zone to hit 11 of 16 shot attempts. He also pulled down nine rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and eight assists for the Huskies (15-4, 7-1).

The 20th ranked Huskies are leading the conference by two games, pending the result of the Washington State-Arizona game tonight. The Huskies are 7-1 for the first time since 1987.

The victory pulled the Huskies to within one in the all-time series with the Sun Devils at 36-35. Just last week, the Huskies pulled within one game in their series with Cal, now trailing 77-76.

The Huskies have won 15 of the last 18 meetings with the Devils.

The Huskies led just 68-66 with 5:15 left when the closed the game with a 20-11 run.

First-Half:

Isaiah Thomas is just the second player in UW history with back-to-back 10-plus assist games. Raphael Stone did it in 1969 with 12 and 10. No one ever has had three straight. That could come today.

Thomas is averaging 5.7 assists per game overall and 8.4 in conference-only action. He has moved into UW’s top-10 all-time list. Overall, the Huskies are ninth nationally 17.6 assists per game.

UW has won its first 10 home games for the third straight season.

– This is a clash between two offensively contrasting teams. The Huskies are first by far in the conference in scoring at 87.0 points per game and shooting a conference-leading 48.6 percent. ASU trails the league in scoring (62.9) and scoring margin (minus  1.4).

– Former O’Dea High standout, ASU senior guard Jamelle McMillan, son of Nate McMillan, made his final start at Hec Ed.

– Unlike Thursday’s win over Arizona in which it took more than two minutes for either team to score, the Huskies score at 19:36 on Matthew Bryan-Amaning’s basket underneath. It came after a nifty pass from Justin Holiday.

– MBA missed a fast-break dunk. The ball nearly bounces back to the half-court line.

– Trent Lockett gives the Sun Devils a 4-3 lead. Huskies are 1-for-5.

– It’s a miracle. Carrick Felix, who missed the WSU game with the flu, didn’t even make the trip, is here and playing. He started for Sun Devils. He just left, at 16:12, with his second foul.

– Referees are letting them play, as Isaiah Thomas just got sent to the wood on a layup attempt. No whistle.

– First media timeout, Huskies leading 9-6, but shooting 30 percent (3 of 10). They have missed all three three-point tries. ASU has made four turnovers already. At that pace, they would be pushing 20.

– Bryan-Amaning, in a nice move around his defender, puts one in from underneath at 13:25. He has eight points. Thomas has just two points but is without an assists.

– Kyle Cain hits successive baskets, brining the Devils within one, 11-10, at 12:33. MBA responds with another inside hoop. He has 10 points in eight minutes. At that pace, he’d finish with 50 points. Not likely, not with Thomas and Holiday taking their share.

– Sun Devils are now at 30 percent (3 of 10) while the Huskies have increased their  percentage to 42.9 (6 of 14) at 11:30.

– It’s a game of threes. The Sun Devils get three three-pointers in a two-minute span, two by Ty Abbott, while Terrence Ross hits one. It’s a 21-18 lead for the Devils at the third media timeout, 7:21.

– New Dawg Pack cheer, ride the roller coaster. The students, under direction, wave their arms in unison left, right and up. Pretty cool sight from the other side.

– Isaiah Thomas gets his first assists at 5:40, on a alley-opp pass to Holiday, who dunks it.

– Ross hits a three for the lead; Abbott hits a three for the ASU 28-27 lead. Thomas misses the first of a 1-and-1 that would have at least tied it.

– A pair of tough-spellers give the Sun Devils their biggest lead, 33-27 with 4:30 left. Jordan Bachynski hits a 16-footer followed by a three-pointer by Rihards Kuksiks.

– This game is not going as the Huskies planned. They don’t have their usual rhythm on offense. The Devils are taking them out of their comfort shots.

– MBA misses his shot but hustles to grab the rebound and put it in. Tough job.

– A pair of free throws by Thomas ties it at 37-all with 1:38 left.

– With everyone but Bryan-Amaning missing, Thomas eschews the pass and hits a three-pointer. ASU Coach Herb Sendek calls a timeout with 54 seconds left. UW leading 40-37.

– Venoy Overton misses a last-second three-pointer but the Huskies still maintain a 40-39 lead at halftime. They have been behind just once this season at intermission, 29-28 to Stanford.

First-half summary:

– While at different points both teams were at 30 percent (3 of 10) shooting, they both finishes higher than 50 percenet for the half. UW was 50 even (14 of 28). ASU was at 53.6 (15 of 28). The Devils made 12 of their final 18 shots. It may be the best first-half opponent percentage all season.

– Bryan-Amaning had 16 points. His career high is 28 this season against McNeese State. Thomas has nine points and two assists.

– Ty Abbott, who made all three of his trey attempts, has 13 points.

– ASU is playing the UW game. They are passing better, with more assists, 9 to 6, and have forced seven turnovers, scoring 14 points off them.

Second-half:

– The Sun Devils come out for the second half anxious to get started, with six minutes left. The Huskies come back three minutes later.

– Husky fans got the play they’ve been waiting for, what they came for. On a 2-on-1 fast break, Thomas flipped the ball up over a defender, roughly in Bryan-Amaning’s reach. MBA, already in the air, leans back with one arm and brings it down through the hoop. The crowd erupts at Sendek calls timeout at the 18-minute mark. He saw the Oregon game (same score at halftime). He doesn’t want the Huskies to put another 63 points down in the second half.

– Scott Suggs’ three-pointer gives the Huskies their biggest lead, 50-43 with 16:45 left.

– First media timeout, UW 50, ASU 45, 15:49 left.

– Carrick Felix gets away with a couple pushes and still ends up at the foul line, 50-46.

– While the Huskies are doubling down on Bachynski inside, the kickout goes to Lockett, who hits the three, 52-48.

– The 50-50 calls are going ASU way, seemingly all day. The law of averages should come into play.

– Overton mishandles the ball on a fast break then decides to just chuck it. He hits a two-pointer, barely inside the arc. UW leads 56-50 at 11:58.

– Darnell Gant blocks a Abbott shot, flicking into the scorer’s table. Referee rule goal-tending but when the replay is played the crowd thunder is disagreement.

– Thomas connects with Gant for another alley-opp. UW leads 62-58 inside of 8:15. The Sun Devils won’t go away.

– Give credit to the Sun Devils. Instead of settling for the jumper, they are penetrating just about every possession. The result is generally a basket or a pair of free throws.

– The Huskies have made just four of 18 three-point attempts, 22 percent. Holiday, with 23 and 22 points the past two games, is 0-for-4 and has two points.

– Big threes, C.J. Wilcox for the Huskies and Abbott for the Devils. Abbotts’s three was huge, preventing the Huskies from cresting their momentum. UW leads 70-68 with 4:08 left. Lockett works inside for an unopposed dunk.

– Media timeout with 3:49 left. As the Devils stay close, they are a serious threat for the upset. They are playing solid defense and making clutch, hard baskets.

– ASU has made all three of his last shot attempts while the Huskies have made 3 of 4. Both teams are shooting better than 50 percent.

– Bryan-Amaning hits a pair of free throws to match his career-high 28 points, with still 3 1/2 minutes left. UW leads 72-68. IT follows with a basket, 74-68.

– Another clutch three by the Devils, this by Kuksiks to pull within a trey, 74-71.

– MBA hits 30, a career high with a basket underneath. It’s 76-71 with 2:13 left. Not so comfortable but not as anxious.

– Thomas Time. After working the shot clock, Thomas takes the dribble inside and almost unopposed lays it in, 78-71. Sendek calls a timeout.

– Thomas Fails. He fouls a three-point shooter, Abbott. He shoots three free throws, miss, make. make. It’s 78-73 with 1:33. ASU can’t let the Huskies run the clock down.

– Fast-break steal by McMillan but Overton gets all ball on the block and the ball goes to the Huskies out of bounds. Sendek calls another timeout. Foul line time.

– Three-point line, instead. Suggs hit a killer trey, 81-73.

– Inside one minute and the Califorina-oriented fans are leaving. Huskies make every other foul shot. It’s now a 10-point game.

– Game over — essentially. Thomas steal and first-break basket results in a three-point play for a 85-73 lead with 30.2 seconds left.


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