Another stellar defensive effort helped knock off another ranked team as Washington toppled No. 25 Arizona State 68-64 Thursday night at Hec Ed. On his 21st birthday, Noah Dickerson had 21 points and 16 rebounds as the Huskies improved to 6-3 with their third consecutive conference victory, 16-6 overall.
The Sun Devils entered the game averaging 86 points, best in the Pac-12 Conference and 10th nationally, but were held to a season low, including just 27 at the half. ASU’s three-point shooting, 5 of 19, was a season low by two.
“That’s why we won, right there,” coach Mike Hopkins said. “If they are six for 19 or seven for 19, it’s a different game.
“We’re really locked in to what we’re trying to do.”
Guard Tra Holder, ASU’s leading scorer averaging 19.2 points, was held to 12 as the Huskies pressured him beyond the arc and often had a double team when he drove the lane.
Chief antagonist was Matisse Thybulle, who had six steals for a season total of 70, a school single-season record. He finished with only nine points, partly due to a stomach bug, according to Hopkins, who nevertheless played him 33 minutes.
“I told him I know you’re not feeling good,” Hopkins said, “but your defense can win this game.”
Dickerson helped pick up the scoring slack with with a powerhouse effort on the low blocks, where UW earned a rare rebounding advantage, 37-32.
With 1:19 left, Dickerson hit a short jumper underneath for a 66-62 lead. Holder answered with a drive, then Washington’s Jaylen Nowell committed an offensive foul with 36 seconds left.
Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley used his last timeout to set up a play, but Washington’s defensive pressure forced Mickey Mitchell into a hasty dash along the baseline, where UW center Sam Timmins knocked free the ball.
Washington’s Dominic Green recovered the loose ball, was fouled, and hit both free throws with 10.8 seconds left to close out Arizona State, which fell to 4-6 in conference play after starting the season 12-0.
Point guard David Crisp also helped with three slashing drives to the rim for lefty layins in the final five minutes.
“He resuscitated us, Hopkins said. “He took his opportunities when they were there, and had some great finishes. He had no turnovers and ran the club.”
Now comes the home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against ninth-ranked Arizona (9-1, 19-4), which blasted Washington State 100-72 in Pullman Wednesday.
“They’re pretty damn good,” Hopkins said. “It’s a great test for us. We can beat anybody. We did it tonight. We can do it Saturday.”