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Obviously, that game belonged Tony Wroten. At least in my game story it did. I really believe we are seeing a different Wroten the last few weeks. For the most part, he's playing under control and picking and choosing his spots. Are there some wayward drives and questionable shots every once in a while? Sure, Isaiah Thomas did that as a junior. Wroten is starting to understand what teams are doing to him defensively and making adjustments.
Sure, there have been games in which he’s scored more points, and dished out more assists, but there has yet to be a game in which Wroten meant more to the Huskies than Thursday’s 60-54 win over Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena.
Wroten scored 22 points, pulled down six rebounds, dished out three assists, picked up two steals and added a block to lead Washington (13-7 overall, 6-2 Pacific-12 Conference) to its second road win of the season.
Perhaps more impressive, Wroten was 9-for-12 shooting. And not one of those attempts was more than five feet from the basket.
“I’d be willing to wager you’ve not seen what just happened,” coach Lorenzo Romar said about Wroten’s game. “Against a team that plays not just a regular zone, but really good zone for 40 minutes. I don’t think he took one outside shot and scored 22 points. That’s pretty impressive to be able to do that.”
On a night when Terrence Ross couldn’t find his jump shot and C.J. Wilcox looked rusty from three weeks off, Wroten embraced the grind-it-out, possession-by-possession game that the Sun Devils play and made it his own.
Playing without injured scoring leader Trent Lockett for a third consecutive game, ASU dropped to 6-14 overall and 2-6 in the Pac-12. Washington, winning for just the second time away from home, improved to 13-7 and 6-2.
"I really thought we could beat these guys,'' said ASU freshman Jonathan Gilling, who led ASU with 20 points. "I don't think they're any better than us. They're maybe more athletic, but I don't think player for player they're better than us. I'm really disappointed."
The contest produced at least one proud moment for the home team: At halftime, the Sun Devils honored former star Lafayette "Fat" Lever, who had his No. 12 jersey hung in the arena rafters. Lever became the fourth ASU player to be so honored, joining Joe Caldwell, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.
The rest of the contest was ugly for both teams. Without Lockett, ASU struggled to score, but Washington -- a team that usually hits its stride late in the season -- wasn't much better. ASU shot 37.3 percent and had 15 turnovers. Washington shot 41.7 and had 10.
"There were a number of instances where with greater awareness and alertness, and just following through to make plays, especially on (defense), we could've been in a far better position," ASU coach Herb Sendek said.