Men’s basketball unable to overcome Huskies’ strong second half

Jonathan Gilling calls out a play in a game against Washington Jan. 26. Gilling finished with 20 points in the Sun Devils’ loss to the Huskies. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

All junior guard Trent Lockett could do was watch.

Lockett, out with a sprained right ankle for a third straight game, sat on the sidelines as the ASU men’s basketball team added one more loss to its losing streak.

The Sun Devils (6–14, 2–6 Pac-12) fell to Washington 60–54 Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

ASU fought back from a 12-point deficit with 13:26 left in the game. True freshman Jonathan Gilling drained a 3-pointer to cut Washington’s lead down to 50–46 with 1:46 left. Gilling led the team with 20 points.

On the next possession, Washington true freshman Tony Wroten grabbed the loose ball from his own miss, scored and was fouled by junior wing Carrick Felix. Wroten completed the three-point play and sealed the game for Washington (13–7, 6–2 Pac-12).

“I really thought we could’ve beat these guys,” Gilling said. “I don’t think they’re any better than us. Maybe more athletic, but I don’t think, player-for-player, that they’re better than us. I’m really disappointed.”

Wroten finished with a game-high 22 points and six rebounds. He also had the play of the game that hindered ASU’s potential comeback. He drove into the lane, dunked on Gilling and drew the foul. The emphatic three-point play extended Washington’s lead to seven with 5:35 left.

“He was the difference in the game tonight,” Sendek said. “He’s really tough to deal with off the bounce, especially going left. We just didn’t have great awareness with the way we closed out.”

ASU shot 37.3 percent from the floor and committed 15 turnovers. Lockett’s contributions have been missed on the offensive side in the past three games.

Felix scored seven points in 37 minutes. Sophomore wing Chanse Creekmur went scoreless for a third straight game. He hasn’t scored since his career-high 24-point performance against Oregon State on Jan. 14.

“When it comes to a game like this, we’ve all got to be carrying water,” Sendek said. “We don’t have the luxury for guys not to be pitching in. It’s really going to take a great team effort from us.”

The Sun Devils hung around because of their ability to rebound against a physical opponent. They were only outrebounded by one, 35–34. Sophomore forward Jordan Bachynski had nine points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

ASU ended the first half on a high note. Junior guard Chris Colvin drove the length of the court to score a layup as time expired in the first half. It gave the Sun Devils a 24–22 lead at halftime.

ASU didn’t score a field goal until the 13:52 mark of the second half, while Washington went on a 14–1 run. Senior forward Darnell Gant contributed eight points in the second half off the bench, five of those came from the free-throw line.

“During that spurt where they went up, we didn’t gang rebound,” Bachynski said. “We had some guys going for the boards, and we had some guys not. We need to get the whole team rebounding.”

The Sun Devils will look to snap a three-game losing streak against Washington State on Saturday. It is unknown whether Lockett will be available to play against the Cougars. The team will re-evaluate him tomorrow.

“At this point, with a short turnaround and only one day in between, he really hasn’t done anything yet,” Sendek said. “We have to be prepared to play without him.”

Tipoff is at 3 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

Reach the reporter at mtesfats@asu.edu

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