TEMPE, Ariz. — Three days removed from its most embarrassing loss of the season, Washington will try to piece back together its collapsed ego.
Arizona appeared to be running a layup line once the second half started in Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday night. The Wildcats went up by 22 points and the blood pressure of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar increased along with the deficit.
Romar verbally battered his team during a second-half timeout in a way he had not all season. Still miffed after the game, he said the Huskies played with a lack of pride during the start of the second half.
“We didn’t guard like we should have, but that was a byproduct of the core of the matter,” Romar said. “We didn’t go out and compete in the second half.”
Now, the Huskies have to dispatch that devastation and deal with a resurgent Arizona State team.
Washington’s 96-92 win over the Sun Devils at Hec
Edmundson Pavilion on Feb. 2, is on the short list of quality wins by the Huskies this season. The 96 points were revelatory for a team that is averaging 67.8 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from the field.
It was also the point in the season Romar thought the Huskies had turned the corner. Not so fast.
Washington is 2-8 in its past 10 games and 1-4 since that win in what is quickly becoming a lost season. The Huskies have tweaked the starting lineup. They have also juggled combinations on the floor. Little has changed.
What worked well for one night was inside scoring against Arizona State. Shawn Kemp Jr. abused the smaller Jonathan Gilling on his way to 18 points. Aziz N’Diaye did the same to 7-footer Jordan Bachynski. N’Diaye was 7-for-8 from the field for 16 points. Arizona State had one offensive rebound in the game.
The flip was Washington’s inability to handle Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson. The freshman scored a career-high 32 points against the Huskies, the most they have allowed to an individual this season.
“We didn’t play very good defense in that game, but we shot 52 percent and we were still able to get it done,” Romar said. “We have to defend better this time.”
Washington (14-13, 6-8 PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE) at Arizona State (20-7, 9-5)
8 p.m., Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: ESPNU. Radio: 950-AM, 102.9-FM.
All-time series: Washington leads, 39-36.
Scouting report: Washington hammered Arizona State in the post during a 96-92 win at Hec Ed on Feb. 2. It was also the only time this season the Huskies exceeded 90 points in a game. They have made it into the 80s three other times. Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson scored 32 points in the first meeting but gave up 28 to opposing point guards Andrew Andrews (20) and Abdul Gaddy (8).
Next: 12:30 p.m. March 3, vs. Washington State (Root Sports). Probable starters
Shawn Kemp Jr.F18.104.22.168.061.8
Jordan BachynskiC9.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas email@example.com