Sun Devils Hold Off Huskies In OT

Feb 8, 2003

By Brian Gomez,

SEATTLE -- Had it not been for a sensational performance by senior forward Shawn Redhage, the Sun Devil men's basketball team might have again left Washington with the painful feeling of underachievement.

Redhage poured in a career-high 29 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in 34 minutes Saturday afternoon to help lift Arizona State to a 79-77 overtime victory against Washington before a crowd of 6,983 at Edmundson Pavilion.

'I let the game come to me and I was able to put the ball in the basket,' said Redhage, who scored his team's first five points in the extra period and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 1:13 to secure ASU's sweep of the Washington schools. 'I've just been patient on the bench waiting for my opportunity and today was one of the times I needed to step up for this team.'

Redhage was simply unstoppable during a game in which senior forward Tommy Smith saw limited playing time due to foul trouble and freshman forward Ike Diogu was held to 11 points on only five shots from the field. He scored inside. He scored outside. He scored while penetrating to the basket. He scored while out on the perimeter.

Heck, Redhage probably could have scored from atop the nearby Cascade Mountains.

'He took the ball on the dribble, broke them down and hit some shots,' said Sun Devil head coach Rob Evans, whose team won despite turning the ball over 17 times and shooting 43.9 percent (29-for-66) from the field, 16.7 percent (3-for-18) from three-point range and 62.1 percent (18-for-29) at the charity stripe. 'Shawn started for us for two years, so he's a very confident person. It's nice to have that coming off the bench.'

Redhage made his biggest contributions after ASU (15-7, 7-4 Pac-10) was pushed into overtime upon squandering a seven-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation. The Sun Devils were 1-for-6 from the free-throw line during that time.

Redhage converted a three-point play on his team's first possession in the extra frame with a shot over Washington junior forward Doug Wrenn. He then banked home a jumper on a pass from senior point guard Kyle Dodd to put ASU ahead 72-67 with 3:43 remaining.

'You've got to take what the defense gives you,' Redhage said. 'A lot of times, I was getting the ball up on the top of the key and I was able to drive from that point. That's where it was open tonight.'

The Huskies (8-12, 3-8) quickly regained momentum on the strength of sophomore guard Will Conroy's pair of three-pointers on successivepossessions. They took a 75-72 lead with 1:35 left when freshman forward Bobby Jones laid in a bucket on a pass from Conroy.

The tide looked as if it might turn in Washington's favor for good when Sun Devil junior swingman Jamal Hill misfired on a three-point attempt from the top of the key. But Redhage scrapped and fought his way through the paint for the loose ball and headed to the line after being fouled by Jones.

Redhage knocked down two free throws to cut the deficit to a single point. Diogu then came up with one of the game's biggest defensive plays when he rejected Washington freshman guard Nate Robinson's layup.

'Even when we got down in overtime late, we still had a refuse-to-lose attitude and everybody was just cheering everybody else on,' Diogu said.

ASU regained the lead on its ensuing possession with a pair of free throws by Hill, who drew a foul from Washington junior guard Curtis Allen on a powerful drive to the goal. Jones answered with a lay-in on a pass from freshman forward Mike Jensen that gave the Huskies a 77-76 advantage with 40.3 seconds left.

Sun Devil senior shooting guard Curtis Millage, who struggled all game long while hampered by a knee injury that he sustained Thursday night at Washington State, made his presence felt in the closing minute. Millage drained a 15-foot baseline jumper to put ASU back on top, before drawing an offensive foul against Conroy, who was attempting to penetrate inside.

Washington had a golden opportunity to reclaim the lead when Millage threw the ball away under his own basket, however, Jones missed a layup and Redhage corralled the rebound in the lane. The Huskies were still alive when Redhage missed the second of two free throws, but Redhage blocked Robinson's three-point attempt and time expired just before Jensen could get off a shot in the low post on a pass from Conroy.

'My man set a pick on Kyle Dodd and I tried to get over there as soon as he shot it,' Redhage said. 'I just wanted to get my hand up, try to get in the way and make it a tough shot and I got the block. I didn't want to make a foul. I was just trying to get up there and play aggressive defense.'

Washington got a turnaround jumper from Wrenn, a lay-in from Allen and a driving layup from Conroy to cut the deficit to 67-65 with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. After Millage missed back-to-back free throws, Wrenn laid in a bucket on a pass from Robinson to tie the game with 7.9 seconds left. Millage's three-point attempt at the buzzer clanked off the front of the rim.

'I just made a layup, that's it,' Wrenn said. 'It wasn't too difficult.'

The Sun Devils relied on a multitude of players early with Diogu and Smith both confined to the bench in foul trouble. ASU sophomore point guard Jason Braxton scored all six of his points in the opening six minutes.

Senior forward Donnell Knight chipped in four points and junior forward Justin Allen also provided a spark with a trey from the top of the key that gave the Sun Devils a 22-11 lead with 7:51 to go in the first half. The Huskies went on a 7-0 run over the final 2:26 to cut the deficit to 29-27 at intermission.

With Diogu not getting the looks he wanted in the second half, coupled with the fact that Washington's zone defense was still giving ASU fits, Evans turned to Hill to open things up. Hill came through by scoring 12 of his 14 points after the break.

'He's playing better defense and he knows that's the way to get on the floor,' Evans said. 'He was looking for his shot a little bit more. He didn't shoot it as well as he generally shoots it, but he made some timely baskets.'

In the absence of freshman center Anthony Washington, who is sidelined indefinitely with a stress reaction in his left ankle, five players scored in double figures for the Huskies. Robinson led the way with a career-high 20 points, while Conroy tallied 16 and Jones, Wrenn and Allen had 10 apiece.

'Anthony is a huge loss for us in the post because he's got a 7-foot-2 wing span, he grabs rebounds, he can score on the block and he's just another big body to have in the game,' Jensen said. 'I now have to grab more rebounds, try to block a couple more shots and try to be more of an intimidating force in the middle, like he was earlier in the season. Having him not there is definitely tough, but we can try to get through it.'

GAME NOTES: The Sun Devils, who lead the all-time series against Washington 33-20, have won two of three overtime games between the schools...ASU improved to 7-5 away from home this the past two years, the Sun Devils are 27-4 (.871) when they lead at halftime...ASU out-rebounded Washington 38-31 and held a 17-6 edge on the offensive end...Dodd had a season-high seven assists in 27 minutes to give him 13 in his past two outings...after the game, Evans credited his assistant coaches, whom he called 'bench gurus,' for their helpdown the stretch...Diogu is shooting 68.1 percent (47-for-69) from inside the arc in seven road games...Hill has scored in double figures in eight games this season.

UP NEXT: The Sun Devils will return to action next week when hosting the Los Angeles schools at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU is scheduled to face USC (9-9, 5-5 at 6:30 p.m. MST Thursday, before taking on UCLA (5-14, 2-8) at 1:30 p.m. MST Saturday. Both those games will be televised locally.

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