(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/WCSN)
With one of their stoutest defensive performances of the season, ASU managed to pull off a tight 86-75 victory over Washington at home.
The Sun Devils came into this game reeling from four losses in their last five games, but there was a different attitude from ASU (10-11) in the game.
The contest started out as a back and forth battle with neither team able to gain a significant advantage in the early going. But after a 3-pointer by Markelle Fultz pulled Washington (9-11) within one, ASU took off.
The Sun Devils scored the last four points of the first half and came out firing in the second. Junior guard Tra Holder hit a mid-range jumper to start it off and junior guard Shannon Evans II heated up, hitting back to back threes. Holder hit another jumper that stretched ASU’s scoring run to 12 as the Sun Devils took a 44 to 29 lead.
From that point on Arizona State was firmly in control of the game.
The key for the Sun Devils was their ability to shut down star Washington freshman Markelle Fultz for the majority of the game. Fultz was held to just eight points in the first half, shooting 3 of 7 in the first.
The future lottery pick started to ignite late in the second half as he tried to drag his team back into the game. Fultz scored 18 of Washington’s last 21 points and pulled his team within six with 33 seconds left to play.
However, some late free throws by Holder and Evans sealed the game in ASU’s favor despite Fultz’s late game heroics.
Evans and Holder were an efficient and dynamic duo all game long and poured in 25 and 23 points, respectively. Evans was also a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line, which has been a consistent trademark of his play all season.
ASU took 34 shots from the charity stripe compared to just 13 for Washington, which allowed the Sun Devils to control the pace of the game and get easy points on the board. Holding the Huskies to 40 percent shooting also helped ASU pull off the home victory.
The Sun Devils will look to use the momentum gained from this game against Washington State at home on January 29. That game will be at 12 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.