Turnovers are only as meaningful as the subsequent points, or lack thereof, that follow. Arizona State’s (15-6, 6-4 Pac-12) 69-66 overtime loss to Washington (13-9, 5-6) Thursday night loss encapsulates a greater theme that has hindered the Sun Devils all year: the Sun Devil offense cannot catch up with the tenacity of their defense.
The defense, who forced 12 first-half turnovers, set up Desmond Cambridge Jr. (career-high 26 points) and the Sun Devils nicely from the opening tip, catapulting ASU to a 12-0 lead. Washington did not score during the first five minutes of the game.
The Huskies would finish the half on a 32-8 run, taking a 32-20 lead into halftime.
Washington stifled Warren Washington in the paint, as ASU’s premiere big man scored just 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting. DJ Horne totaled 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting. ASU, as a team, shot just 30.7% from the field.
Washington was in control for most of the second half, and looked to have this one locked-up when the Huskies made one of the biggest gaffs this year in Pac-12 play. Down by three with six seconds left in the game, Austin Nunez was handed the ball at the top of the key. He took three dribbles into the far corner, and as he rose for the potential game-tying shot, Nunez was fouled on the wrist by Keion Brooks Jr. Three successful free throws would send the game to overtime.
Nunez, the freshman, nailed all three.
FREE BASKETBALL.— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) January 27, 2023
Austin Nunez is fouled on the 3-pointer and nails all 3 FTs to force OT for Arizona State (-2.5)
Washington would go on to win 69-66 in overtime. What was the difference? The Huskies made on three-pointer off an offensive rebound in overtime. ASU had 0 second-chance points. The Sun Devils finished by dropping their third game in a row.
ASU will play a rematch against Washington State Saturday night in Pullman at 6:00 pm MST.