LOS ANGELES (AP) -- What appeared to be a Washington rout early
on turned into a struggle for the Huskies. Little Nate Robinson
made sure they came out on top.
Robinson, a 5-foot-9 junior, scored six of his 29 points in
overtime, and Washington (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) survived Arizona State's comeback
to beat the Sun Devils 95-90 Thursday night in the first round of
the Pac-10 tournament.
"That is one of the best No. 7 seeds, I guarantee you, of any
conference tournament," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We
did not lose our composure. We stayed together."
The second-seeded Huskies (25-5) will play Stanford in
the second semifinal on Friday night. No. 8 Arizona and Oregon
State will meet in the opener.
Washington made 14 of its first 17 shots including 6-of-6 from
3-point range in taking an 18-point first-half lead. As it turned
out, they didn't clinch the victory until Tre Simmons made two free
throws with 13.5 seconds remaining in overtime.
Kevin Kruger's 3-pointer with 4:14 remaining gave ASU an 86-85
lead -- its second of the game. But Brandon Roy made two free throws
and Robinson added four straight points to put the Huskies on top
91-86 with 2:09 left.
Pac-10 player of the year Ike Diogu hit two free throws before
Robinson made a bank shot with 1:22 to play, putting Washington
ahead 93-88. Diogu made two more foul shots with 15.9 seconds left
for ASU's last points.
Simmons added 17 points, Roy scored 12 and freshman Joel Smith
added 11 for the Huskies.
"It lasted longer than we might have liked, but you always
learn from these situations," Romar said. "That team, when they
get going from the outside, they're dangerous offensively. Some
people think it's just the Ike Diogu show."
Kruger equaled his career high with 22 points and Steve Moore
also scored 22 for ASU (18-13), which lost its fourth straight
game. Diogu, playing the entire 45 minutes, had 21 points, 13
rebounds and a Pac-10 tournament-record five blocked shots. Bryson
Krueger added 15 points for the Sun Devils.
Moore made a layup with less than a second left in regulation to
tie it at 83 and force overtime. Moore scored with 14.8 seconds to
play to make it 81-all before Hakeem Rollins dunked with 7.1
seconds remaining, giving the Huskies a two-point lead.
Moore scored all but two of his points in the second half.
"I didn't want to lose," he said when asked why he played so
well after halftime. "I'm a senior. Outside of the NIT, there's no
more basketball for me."
Regarding his game-tying shot that forced overtime, Moore said:
"I really didn't know the clock. I was just trying to get to the
basket as fast as I could."
Said Robinson: "We were in a scramble situation. Somehow, he
just got a wide-open layup."
Washington shot 30-of-67 including 6-of-12 from 3-point range
while ASU was 28-of-64 and 10-of-24 from outside the arc. The
Huskies outrebounded the Sun Devils 46-32.
Robinson, who equaled his season high and came up two points shy
of his career high, shot 9-of-16 from the floor including 3-of-5
from 3-point range and 8-of-9 from the foul line. He also had seven
rebounds and two steals.
ASU coach Rob Evans said his team played well enough to win.
"We've played well all year long," he said. "Out of 31 games,
I would say 27 of them we played extremely well."
Washington had what appeared to be a comfortable 14-point lead
when Moore scored 12 points during a 23-9 run that tied the game
with 5:35 remaining.
Bobby Jones made a free throw, and Roy added two baskets to give
the Huskies a five-point lead. ASU drew within two points before
Roy scored four more points to put Washington on top 81-75 with
Two free throws by Diogu and another pair by Krueger made it
81-79 with 50.4 seconds left. Then came the wild finish to
Washington made its first 17 free throws before Robinson missed
with 12:47 remaining. The Huskies finished 27-of-32 from the foul
line while ASU was 20-of-28.
It was 52-37 at halftime. Washington's 52 points were the most
scored against ASU in a first half this season -- six more than the