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Huskies keep pace with Arizona in standings

SEATTLE (AP) -- So much for Tre Simmons' shooting slump.

The Washington senior tied a career-high with 29 points and made
6-of-7 3-pointers, and Washington held off pesky Arizona
State 90-82 Thursday night.

Simmons, Washington's leading scorer at 16.1 points per game,
had struggled shooting recently, including a 1-for-11 performance
two weeks ago at Oregon.

He had 16 in a win last weekend at Washington State and broke
out in a big way against the Sun Devils, shooting 9-for-19.

"I just came out aggressive," Simmons said. "I'm a shooter,
that's what I do."

Nate Robinson added 21 points for Washington (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP), including eight in
the final 5:20. He punctuated the night on a dunk with 3 seconds
left, as the Huskies survived the Sun Devils' challenge.

"I don't know who we were out there, but they were like Joe
Frazier," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They just kept
coming at us and they played at a very high level."

Arizona State's Ike Diogu, leading the Pac-10 in scoring and
rebounding, had a game-high 31 points and 15 rebounds. He was
17-for-18 from the foul line and had 24 points in the second half.

"Ike is a grown man playing a college basketball game,"
Robinson said. "He's like a train going downhill."

Washington (22-4, 12-3 Pac-10) won its 21st straight home game
and stayed 1½ games behind Arizona in the Pac-10. The Huskies host
the Wildcats on Saturday.

Simmons left the court hobbling after diving for a loose ball in
the first minute of the second half. Simmons said he fell on his
right hip which he had bruised in practice last week.

Less than 2 minutes later, Simmons returned and ignited a 14-5
run, scoring 12 of Washington's points during a 4-minute span. The
run gave the Huskies a 58-48 lead, its first double-digit lead of
the game.

"You just got to find the shooter. Tre was hot and we just kept
feeding him," Robinson said. "You've got to milk them as long as
you can."

But Washington could not shake the Sun Devils, who stayed in the
game thanks to a 29-for-32 performance at the free throw line. The
teams combined for 44 fouls.

Arizona State scored 10 of its next 19 points at the foul stripe
and cut the lead to 69-67. Washington pushed the lead back to
eight, but eight points from Diogu kept the Sun Devils close,
trailing 83-80 with 1:20 left.

Robinson scored on a runner with 45 seconds left. On Arizona
State's next possession, Tyrone Jackson was called for a charge,
and Washington made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 26.5 seconds.

"We haven't played a game against Arizona State in three years
that wasn't physical like that," Romar said. "It's the nature of
our games. We both play an aggressive, attacking style."

Will Conroy added 13 points and Bobby Jones had 12 for
Washington. Kevin Kruger had 17 for Arizona State (18-10, 7-9
Pac-10), which lost its fourth straight to the Huskies.

"We played really well. We did everything but win the
basketball game," Arizona State coach Rob Evans said. "Key stops
at critical times didn't allow us to win the game."

Washington can complete its first undefeated home campaign since
1984 with a win Saturday. Washington's last home loss was Jan. 10,
2004, an 86-84 overtime loss to UCLA.

With wins in their final three games, the Huskies will clinch at
least a share of the conference regular season title. Washington
hasn't claimed a share of the Pac-10 regular season title since
1985 and have not won a conference title outright since winning the
Pacific Coast Conference in 1953.

"We're ready and looking forward to having some fun," Robinson
said.

Washington was hoping to get some help from their cross-state
rivals Thursday night, but Arizona held off Washington State 57-56
in overtime.

Washington led 44-41 at halftime on the strength of 54 percent
shooting and making 7-of-10 3-point attempts. But for only the
second time against Pac-10 foes, Washington never led by
double-digits in the first half.

The Huskies led by as many as seven early, but Diogu's
thunderous rebound dunk with 5:35 left gave Arizona State a 31-26
lead, capping a 17-6 run. Robinson scored the next 11 Washington
points and the Huskies never again trailed.