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ASU men's basketball completes sweep over Washington in tight win

Seniors Remy Martin and Kimani Lawrence led the way in the Sun Devil victory

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ASU senior guard Remy Martin (1) looks to pass the ball against Washington at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. ASU won 80-72.

ASU men's basketball improved to 9-11 on Thursday with its second win over the Washington Huskies in three days by a score of 80-72. 

The Sun Devils won by 33 points on Tuesday, but the rematch was a battle throughout. Neither team ever led by double digits, and the game was tied 72-72 with two minutes remaining before the Sun Devils scored six straight points off free throws. 

With freshmen Marcus Bagley and Josh Christopher and sophomore guard Jaelen House all unavailable, the Sun Devils relied heavily on the performances of a few key players in the victory.  

Most notably, senior forward Kimani Lawrence continued his remarkable recent stretch, posting 21 points and 20 rebounds and served as an anchor for the Sun Devils on both ends. Lawrence, who has averaged just 6.2 points per game over his career, is now averaging 20.3 points and 13.7 rebounds per game over his last three contests.

"I think it goes without saying who the star was tonight," ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said of Lawrence's performance. "We've had all these guys out and he's really taken his game to a different place, and it's been very exciting and rewarding as a coach to watch him play at that level."  

Senior guard Remy Martin continued his recent hot streak as well, scoring 19 points in the first half and 31 in total on 12-21 shooting to propel him to the No. 6 spot in ASU's all-time leading scorers' list. This also marked Martin's third time topping 30 points in his last six games and his seventh straight game with at least 23.

Despite a lackluster 3-14 shooting night, senior guard Alonzo Verge Jr. managed to be productive as well, posting 13 points, five rebounds and seven assists on the night.

Sophomore forward Jalen Graham also returned to the court and finished with eight points, while senior guard Holland Woods scored seven points and notched three steals. No other ASU player scored on the night.

For Washington, the most notable area of offensive improvement was perimeter shooting, as they made 11-27 threes, as opposed to just 7-29 on Tuesday. 

Senior guard Quade Green led the Huskies with 16 points, while junior guards Jamal Bey and Erik Stevenson scored 14 and 13, respectively.

Amid all the adversity of a COVID-impacted, injury-riddled season, Hurley said the team has been "fun to coach" over the past couple of weeks and commended their efforts in closing out the victory. 

"We've had some heartbreaking losses and end of game situations, and to see it turn our way a little bit was exciting," Hurley said. "We couldn't have finished that last two minutes any better than we did tonight." 

Lawrence said that effort is reflective of a team that is still determined to make the most out of its season. 

"We're not giving up on our season," Lawrence said. "I know we're shorthanded, but there's still a lot of basketball to be played, and there's still a chance for us to play in the postseason. That's the goal." 

ASU will next face Washington State at 7 p.m. MST at home on Saturday. 

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