In a rematch earlier this month in Tempe, Ariz., the Washington Huskies (12-9) hosted the Arizona State Sun Devils (15-5) and the Huskies were looking to avenge a 73-65 loss down in the desert. It wasn’t pretty and at times very difficult to watch, but the Washington Huskies survived late in the game multiple times to hold on to a 69-to-66 victory in overtime.
The Huskies, who performed poorly against Utah just 5 days ago, came out with a similar careless effort to start the game early. Washington would initially miss the first few shots but more problematic were the 7 turnovers in the first 6 minutes and a 12-0 deficit to start the game.
After an early Mike Hopkins time out Keyon Menifield would finally get the huskies on board with a middle-class jumper. Menifield would then follow up with a defensive end steal, resulting in a Koren Johnson Layup to give the huskies some life. A Jamal Bey Free throw would reach UW within 12-5, but turnovers would still plague the Huskies during this small run.
Arizona State would have its own struggles early on after the first 12-0 run. The Huskies would hold the Sun Devils to just 2 points over the next 7 minutes to help stay within striking distance. Keyon Menifield would skip a few fast lanes to pull off a couple of steals that resulted in the Huskies having the most efficient offense early on…fast-break layups.
As poorly as the Huskies could play with 12 turnovers and less than 20% shot off the field in the first 10 minutes, Washington was still only a few big games away from getting back in the game. Cole Bajema was the big game waiting to happen and raising the huskies from the dead almost alone. Bajema would hit three straight 3-pointers from assists by Keyon and Menifield Noah Williams (2) to give the Huskies their first lead of the game, 17-16.
With 3:58 left and the Huskies 20-16, Keyon and Keion’s show began to make itself felt. Newcomer Keyon Menifield would score with a nice pull-up jumper to extend the lead Keion Brooks would score 7 straight points after failing to score in the first 12 minutes of the game, including an NBA range 3 pointer to extend UW’s lead to 29-18.
Noah Williams, who was ill against Colorado and Utah, started the game but struggled to get the ball up early. Williams missed his first 8 shots from the field and missed two front ends from the free throw line that could have helped the Huskies extend their lead even further. However, Williams hit a 3-pointer in the 1st minute with 30 seconds leftSt half to give the Huskies their biggest lead, 32-18.
Credit the Huskies for the contests, but the Sun Devils couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half. After the Sun Devils started the game on a 12-0 run, the Huskies beat Arizona State 32 to 8 in the final 14 minutes of the half. At one point, Arizona State missed 14 shots in a row and was 2/23 to finish half. It really was a bizarre first half that looked like the Huskies would run out of the building but instead turned the tables on the Sun Devils to finish the half.
Keion Brooks led the Huskies with 11 first-half points and scored his 1,000. point in his career. Cole Bajema scored 9 points, all from within 3-point range. Keyon Menifield and Noah Williams would combine for 9 points and 6 assists to get the offense on track after the slow start.
The Sun Devils put pressure on in the second half
After the goal for the last possession of the 1St Halftime it seemed like the Sun Devils might have found something as they came out with a few shots early on at 6 for 10 shooting to retire within 5 with 14:34 left. Desmond Cambridge Jr. caught fire early and scored 6 quick points to take the lead.
The Huskies started the half with 2 for 9 shooting and 2 more turnovers but got 2 points each from Keion Brooks, Noah Williams and Keyon Menifield to maintain the lead. However, the pressure on Arizona State increased dramatically and began to pick up pace again from the first minutes of the game.
Keion Brooks finally ended the Huskies’ draft by scoring after a turning move with a skillful left-hander layup. Brooks then set up a screen for Keyon Menifield and rolled to the top of the key for a wide-open 3-pointer to bring the lead back to ten at 43-33, leaving 12:26 in the 2nd half.
Cole Bajema found himself open in the corner after a good pass from Keion Brooks and came straight out but was fouled by a 7ft player Warren Washington. Bajema would convert 2 of 3 free throws to put UW again at 45-35 to a 10-point lead.
The next 4 minutes would be a repeat of the first 4 minutes of the game, with the Huskies throwing the ball everywhere and turning it left and right. The Sun Devils would go on a 6-0 run to draw within 45–41 thanks to some 3-pointers from Devan Cambridge JR. who was caught in the 2nd firend half. FrankieCollinswho was mostly quiet in the 1stSt Troubled half also hit two 3-pointers during the early 2nd half, helping ASU draw within 45-44 with less than 5 minutes left.
When the Sun Devils threatened, the Huskies turned to Senior Noah Williams to calm the Huskies down. Williams went right several times with Franckie Collins from 6’1, scoring on layups or pulling jumpers into lane. Williams would score 6 straight points to give the Huskies a 52-48 lead with 48 seconds left.
It looked like the Huskies could comfortably finish the game, but Franckie Collins would respond with his 3 right awayapprox Three-pointers of the game to retire within 1 and give the Sun Devils a chance to full-press the Huskies.
After the battle with the press against Colorado, things got a little tense again against pressure from the Sun Devils. The Huskies would turn it around against the press again, giving the Sun Devils a chance to take their first lead of the 2nd half. Arizona State would look for a 3-pointer from Devan Cambridge, but his shot would ricochet. student in the first year Koren Johnson would then be fouled with 28.7 seconds left and calmly hit two free throws to give a 54 to 51 lead.
The Huskies would force another miss and Keion Brooks grabbed the rebound before being fouled. Unfortunately for the huskies it was only the 8thth Team foul for the Sun Devils, which would mean a 1-1 for Brooks. Brooks, an 80% shooter, would miss the front end and give life to the Sun Devils. The Huskies had a few fouls to give, fouling Frankie Collins with 6.8 seconds left.
With a few fouls left to give, the Huskies opted not to foul immediately and the Sun Devils were able to find a freshman Austin Nunez for a game tying three in the corner. Keion Brooks seemed to get a piece of the ball but also got a bit of Nunez’s hand and was called out for a foul to give the newcomer 3 free throws with a chance to tie the game with 0.6 seconds left. Freshman Nunez calmly hit all 3 free throws to force OT and it looked like disaster was about to hit the Huskies.
After an overtime win against California just 10 days ago, the Huskies jumped out with a 5-point lead in OT thanks to another Noah Williams basket to start overtime. On the next possession, Williams drove on the lane again, but this time he stepped out to an open Keion Brooks for a Turn 3 for a 59-to-54 lead.
Freshman Keyon Menifield scored a big bucket for the Huskies with a baseline runner with 1:46 left to give the Huskies a 6-point lead in overtime and it looked like the Huskies could easily survive in overtime . It wasn’t like that….
The Sun Devils would charge back with a few baskets from Franckie Collins and another 3-pointer from Devan Cambridge to draw within 64-62 with 23 seconds remaining in OT.
Noah Williams, who missed two front-end free throws in the first half, lined up for another front-end free throw in front of a crowd of nervous Husky fans. Williams hit the back iron on the first free throw, but the ball barely bounced in the hoop and then Williams calmly hit the 2nd to give UW a 4-point lead.
After a few more layups from Frankie Collins and free throws from PJ Fuller and Koren Johnson, the Sun Devils would have final possession with a chance to score 3 points. Noah Williams would try to foul Frankie Collins but the umpires let her play and that gave Collins a wide open 3 that was tightly bordered. After a mad scramble that saw the ball tipped wide with 0.9 seconds remaining, the Sun Devils had one last chance but failed on their final attempt. The Huskies would survive in overtime, in a wild game that included 22 turnovers in Washington and a game full of runs to defeat the Sun Devils 69-66.
One of the strangest games in recent memory, with both teams attempting to give the game away multiple times but it was the Huskies who came back and controlled most of the game after falling 12-0 early on. The Huskies played mostly from a short bench as 5 players played over 35 minutes but drew level from 4 key players.
The Huskies were led by Keion Brooks with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks despite some costly errors and a missed free throw late in regulation. However, Brooks got on the clutch in overtime with a big 3-pointer and a basket banning block with a minute left in the game.
Noah Williams had a very slow start to the game but finished the game 6-16 and scored 18 points, including 5-6 from the free throw line in overtime. Williams also added 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block and a steal.
In one of the weirder stat lines you’ll see, Braxton Meah played 42 minutes and didn’t attempt a field goal or free throw and finished with 0 points. However, Meah helped protect the edge on defense and pulled off 11 rebounds on the night. Big difference from the first matchup as Arizona State scored at will against the Huskies with Meah in Foul Trouble and dunk 12 in the matchup in Tempe. Arizona State didn’t have a dunk all night thanks to Meah’s presence.
Braxton Meah played a career-high 42 minutes and:
– Didn’t attempt a field goal
– No free throw attempted
-Had 0 blocks
-The huskies won
You could have gotten about 1,000,000-1 odds on that parlay foreplay.
— Max Vrooman (@UWDP_maxvroom) January 27, 2023
Finally, Keyon Menifield didn’t have a great scoring night with 10 points, but did have the highest +/- in the Huskies at +18. The next closest +/- were Langston Wilson with 7 and Cole Bajema with 3. Menifield also chipped 6 boards and 5 assists in 39 minutes on the floor.
The Huskies (13-9 and 5-6) now turn their attention to the Arizona Wildcats (18-3 and 7-3), who hit town at 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon for a potentially sold-out game. Don’t look now, but the Huskies have now won 4 of their last 5 conference games but now face 3 straight Quad 1 opponents as we get to the final stretch of the season.