Washington’s offense got off to a rough start before Quade Green poked the ball away from James Akinjo and got it ahead to Erik Stevenson for the fast break dunk and UW’s first points. On defense Washington tried to pack the paint to counteract Arizona’s size advantage and the Wildcats took the space given to them to attempt jump shots. Fortunately they were off target early as Arizona missed their first 7 shots from behind the arc.
From the opening tip, the Huskies were red hot from beyond the arc, making six threes in the first half and going 11-of-27 from distance on the night. But while its long-range shooting may have kept them in the game, Washington made a point of moving the ball through the post, which played a significant role in its improved offensive performance.
ASU star Remy Martin finally got some of his ambitious jumpers to fall and the Sun Devils pushed the pace on every UW miss to get easy transition baskets. Wright got a putback and then made 1 of 2 free throws on the next trip to get the Huskies back within 5 at 30-25 with 6:10 remaining in the half but then ASU put on the afterburners. They finished the half on a 19-4 run as the Husky’s reliance on jump shots completely failed them while the Sun Devils seemingly hit everything.