After only scoring 53 points in their four-point defeat to Arizona Thursday, Washington lit up the scoreboard for 52 points in the first half alone. They had to, as ASU's Jahii Carson played out of his mind, scoring 32 points and causing fits for the Washington defense, but it wasn't enough. In fact he began a 9-0 run two foul shots and bookended the run with a straightaway three to bring ASU to 82-81 with 3:12 remaining in the game.
"He's just quick. He's so quick," Andrews said of the freshman guard from Mesa, Ariz. During the game all five Washington guards - Andrews, Scott Suggs, C.J. Wilcox, Abdul Gaddy and Hikeem Stewart - took a crack at guarding Carson, with varied results.
"Our game plan was to send him left. A couple times we would jump the screen and he would go left or a couple times he could make a shot. He was a tough cover from the standpoint he is so fast and shifty…you just have to keep him in front.
"We were trying to keep fresh legs on him, trying to get different matchups and trying to get him uncomfortable. We were just trying to give him different looks."
After a five-second call on an inbounds play left Washington scrambling on Arizona State's end, Carson drove to the lane with seven seconds remaining, but C.J. Wilcox and N'Diaye moved Carson far enough away from the basket to make life difficult for the dynamic freshman guard. It appeared as if N'Diaye deflected Carson's shot.
"I wanted to drive the basketball," Carson said afterward. "I knew we were in the bonus and knew I could either draw a foul and knock down free throws or hit the floater.”
“When he drove, we wanted to make sure to keep him in front, we wanted to make sure Aziz was in position to defend the ball screen and to go over the top to keep him from taking the jump shot," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said after the win.
In the scramble Desmond Simmons secured the rebound and passed the ball to Wilcox, who was quickly fouled and made both free throws to ensure the final margin of victory for UW.
“Jahii was sensational," ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek said. "John Gilling made a number of big threes for us and our guys fought back hard and had a chance to win at the end. But once again, offensive rebounds, put back and ones were the final dagger.”
"They hit some shots tonight," Romar said of Arizona State. "They really scored the ball well obviously. Tried not to overhype Carson before the game but he is a really good freshman, had a great game tonight, him and (Jonathan) Gilling with the shots that they made.
"Arizona State, very typical of a Herb Sendek team, they just never quit. I remember my first year they were 1-13 and those guys went out there and played like it was for the championship. It’s just how his teams play. On our end, our young players did a heck of a job. Shawn Kemp played his best game as a Husky, so did Andrew Andrews. C.J. wasn’t able to knock his shot go down and in absence of his ball going in, those other guys stepped up and did a great job offensively. The big man in the middle was huge tonight in more ways than one. The last play, the block, the free throw, he was 7 of 8, so glad we had him. 21 of 22 from the foul line made a big difference.”
Kemp and Andrews paced six Huskies in double-figures. N'Diaye added a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Scott Suggs scored 14 and Desmond Simmons and Wilcox 10 each for the Huskies (13-9, 5-4).
"It helps," Wilcox said of the balanced scoring. The junior from Utah is UW's leading scorer at 18.6 points per game heading into Saturday's contest but was held scoreless in the first half. He helped out in other ways, dishing out a career-high seven assists. "It takes a lot of pressure off me. It's good as far as the team standpoint. It's hard to key on everybody, and with them playing like they are it helps."
Carson's 32 was a game-high for Arizona State (17-5, 6-3), who also got 22 points from a hot three-point shooting Jonathan Gilling and 10 apiece from Jordan Bachynski and Carrick Felix.
As they did Thursday, Washington raced out to a quick lead over their opponents, eventually stretching an advantage to 13 with 10:04 left in the first half. There was a scare from N'Diaye 94 seconds into the game when a knee from the Sun Devils' Felix hit right above the left eye of the UW senior center, and he had to go out for stitches. N'Diaye returned with 12:34 remaining in the half.
"When I was hit I was a little dizzy, but when I went to see the doctor they gave me a little anesthesia, so after that I was fine," N'Diaye said.
But it was Kemp, who had a career night. His 18 points was six better than his previous career high at Oregon a week ago. He also chipped in six rebounds.
“When I got hurt, it kinda set me back a bit but this game is a game I finally got to break out and play like I do in practice,” the sophomore from Georgia said post-game. He didn't have that pure imposing physical presence that his father had in the NBA, but his shooting touch around the rim was superb - going 9-14 from the field.
"These last two games with me and Shawn down there crashing the boards - we've been posting up and getting the boards inside and it's been easier and easier to find out guards too," N'Diaye said of pairing up with Kemp, who replaced Desmond Simmons for the second-straight game.
Washington imposed their will in the paint, out-scoring ASU 50-34 and 19-1 on second-chance opportunities. They crushed the Sun Devils on the boards 36-20.
"We gave up 50 points in the paint in a variety of ways; low post, transition, offensive rebounds, cutters off of backscreens to name a few of the ways they tallied 50 points in the paint," said Sendek. "Certainly rebounding was a problem for us, really got destroyed on the backgrounds and beat on 50/50 balls. Despite doing a number of good things on offense, it was negated by those kinds of things on defense.”
Romar was thrilled with the win but acknowledged there's still plenty of things to work on as the Huskies get ready for a road swing next weekend to the Los Angeles schools.
“I’m ecstatic that we won," he said. "I’m going to go against the grain and say we can’t afford to keep playing games and expect to come out on top if we don’t play defense. If we held them to 20 percent and lost, that’d have been worse. We will take it but we have to do a better job on the defensive end like we did against Arizona.”
Points: Andrews 20, Kemp 18, N'Diaye 16, Suggs 14, Wilcox 10, Simmons 10, Gaddy 8
Rebounds: N'Diaye 10, Simmons 7, Kemp 6, Gaddy 5, Wilcox 4, TEAM 3, Andrews 1
Assists: Gaddy 7, Wilcox 7, Andrews 2
Steals: N'Diaye 2, Suggs 2, Wilcox 2, Gaddy 1
Blocks: N'Diaye 1, Suggs 1, Wilcox 1