TEMPE, Ariz. — After a lackluster second half against Arizona in their previous game, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar wondered how his team would respond at the end of their desert swing.
He couldn’t have asked for much more after his team fought off a frantic rally and spoiled the final home game for Arizona State’s seniors.
“Our guys came back with the right attitude and the right approach,” Romar said after the Huskies held off Arizona State 68-59 Saturday night.
Romar was not happy after Washington collapsed in the second half of an 18-point loss to the 12th-ranked Wildcats on Wednesday, saying they played with a lack of pride.
The Huskies (15-13, 7-8 Pac-12) took the dent in pride from their coach’s comments and played a complete game against Arizona State, taking care of the ball, dominating inside and getting some big shots down the stretch from Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy.
Suggs had 16 points and hit a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left. Gaddy set him up for the shot for one of his seven assists and hit a late jumper to finish with 13 points.
The Huskies had seven turnovers, their second fewest this season, and had 13 more rebounds than Arizona State, including 14 offensive boards that led to 14 second-chance points.
“We have very little margin for error and we didn’t make many errors tonight,” Romar said.
Arizona State (20-8, 9-6) came up short against Washington for the second time this season and in its bid to match the school record for home wins with 16.
The Sun Devils pulled within 57-56 with just under 4 minutes left, but hit only one more basket down the stretch to make their road to the NCAA tournament a little tougher.
Jahii Carson had 10 points and seven assists, while Ruslan Pateev and Evan Gordon added 10 points each for Arizona State, which went 8 for 15 on free throws.
“It was Washington,” said Arizona senior Carrick Felix, who had eight points and six rebounds in his final home game. “They definitely made shots, made free throws and played well down the stretch.”
Washington and Arizona State played a high-scoring game in their previous meeting, Feb. 2 in Seattle.
The Huskies won it 99-92 after getting six players in double figures and dominating the Sun Devils inside — 50 points in the paint and 14 offensive rebounds.
The disparity was enough to send Arizona State home with a loss despite shooting 64 percent and getting 32 points from Carson.
The Huskies struggled after that win, though, losing four of the next five games, the worst of it coming against No. 12 Arizona on Wednesday night, when the Huskies fell apart in the second half and Romar questioned their effort afterward.
Washington was much better against Arizona State.
The Huskies made five of their first nine shots and slightly cooled off after that, going 14 for 29 to lead 32-28 at halftime. Suggs led the way with 10 points.
Washington kept rolling to start the second half, hitting seven of its first 10 shots to build the lead to 49-37.
But Arizona State rallied against the Huskies before and made another run at them behind its defense.
Holding the Huskies without a field goal for nearly six minutes, the Sun Devils trimmed Washington’s lead to 57-56 on a putback by Eric Jacobsen.
That was as close as Washington would let them get.
Gaddy hit a jumper late in the shot clock with just under 2 minutes left, then found Suggs for his 3-pointer from the corner that made it 64-58 and gave the Huskies the season sweep.
“Washington played really well,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said. “They deserve a good measure of credit for playing a good basketball game.”