After four losses in a row, Arizona State found a foe it could handle, the nearly hapless Huskies, who had won five in a row in Tempe. The history was no help as Washington (9-11, 2-6) fell behind late in the first half and never recovered, losing 86-75 to the Sun Devils (10-11, 2-6) Wednesday night, falling to 10th in the Pac-12 Conference.
Markelle Fultz had another statistically impressive evening, scoring 18 of Washington’s final 21 points to finish with 28 points, as well as eight rebounds and nine assists. But the star freshman guard was not much of a factor in the first half when the Huskies let a 23-22 lead get away.
Sloppy UW defense created a Sun Devils parade to the free throw line, where they cashed in 23 times in 34 attempts. The Huskies were six of 13 from the line, and 18 of 37 over the past two games. When no one is in the way and the Huskies can’t hit, it doesn’t get much sorrier.
Halfway through the second half, the Huskies cut a 46-31 deficit to three before Tra Holder, who had 23 points, hit three consecutive three-balls to put ASU up 69-54, plenty enough lead to overcome Fultz’s burst following his lackluster start.
Reserve Dominic Green missed all seven field goal attempts as the Huskies shot 40 percent from the floor, including 10 misses in 14 attempts by David Crisp. Matisse Thybulle had 15 points.
“You got take advantage of opportunities, and we didn’t,” said coach Lorenzo Romar. “Some of those were point-blank layups. We couldn’t make shots.”
ASU, the which had the worst rebounding margin in the conference, outboarded UW, missing injured center Malik Dime, 45-43.
Shannon Evans III led ASU’s four-guard offense with 25 points.
The Huskies flew home after the game, then will fly back to the desert Saturday to face the seventh-ranked Arizona (18-2, 7-0) in Tucson Sunday (12:30 p.m., FOX).