TEMPE, Ariz. — With the Arizona State fans in Wells Fargo Arena rising to a crescendo anticipating a big comeback, Washington’s Abdul Gaddy darted into the lane and drew three defenders.
On Washington’s previous possession, he’d drained a long jumper over the defense.
But this time, Gaddy knifed into the paint before spotting Scott Suggs alone in the corner and delivering perfect pass.
Suggs rose and dropped a three-pointer over the outstretched hand of ASU’s Jonathan Gilling, which sealed Washington’s 68-59 upset victory Saturday night in men’s basketball.
The Huskies led by as many as 13 points with 11:40 left and watched their lead evaporate to one in the final four minutes.
It’s fitting Gaddy and Suggs made the most important plays in the final minutes for Washington because they led the way for most of the game.
Normally when C.J. Wilcox, Washington’s leading scorer, fails to put up big offensive numbers, the Huskies lose.
But not this time.
UW overcame an off night from Wilcox, thanks to his backcourt mates.
Suggs scored with 16 points while Gaddy finished with 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Andrew Andrews also added 11 points.
Washington (15-13, 7-8 Pac-12) wasn’t the only team that had to make do without its star.
Arizona State’s leading scorers Jahii Carson and Carson Felix combined for just 18 points. The Sun Devils fell to 20-8, 9-6.
Despite Wilcox missing his first six shots and going scoreless in the first half, Washington led 32-28 at the break thanks to Suggs. He had 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
The Huskies also benefitted from Shawn Kemp Jr.’s sailing flush over Gilling and a 19-10 first-half rebounding edge.
The Huskies are trying to avoid their first losing season since 2008 when they finished 16-17. They need to win at least one of their remaining three games to secure a non-losing season.
Washington has an extended layoff before playing host to cross-state rival Washington State on March 3 in the first of a three-game homestand.
If the regular season ended today, Washington would be the No. 9 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and would face No. 8-seed Stanford in the opening round. The winner would advance to face top seed Oregon in the quarterfinals.
The Huskies need to win four games at the conference tourney to advance to the NCAAs.