TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Nahziah Carter sized up the 3-pointer and never hesitated, letting it fly with confidence. Washington hasn't been able to finish many games for wins during a frustrating season but this time it was different.
Carter's shot splashed through the net and it helped the Huskies close out a 90-83 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night. The Pac-12's last-place team is trending in the right direction with one game remaining in the regular season and the conference tournament approaching in Las Vegas.
“We're not defeated and we don't feel defeated,” Carter said. “We still have aspirations of winning (the Pac-12 Tournament). We're going to take it one game at a time. This was a start.”
Carter scored 23 points, Jaden McDaniels added 16 and the Huskies won for the second time in three games. The good stretch of basketball comes on the heels of a nine-game skid that knocked Washington's once-promising season off course.
“It's a cannibal league, everybody's eating on each other,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “There are so many good teams. That's what makes it great. It's one game — so we played well — we've got to come back and play another good game and use it as momentum.”
Washington looked like it was headed to another disappointing loss for a big chunk of the night.
The Sun Devils led by four at halftime and stretched the advantage to 61-49 early in the second half. But Washington responded with nine straight points and tied the game at 65 with about 10 minutes left. Isaiah Stewart's dunk with 8:15 left put the Huskies up for the first time in the second half.
Washington (14-16, 4-13 Pac-12) went ahead for good, 73-72, with 5:17 left on McDaniels' layup. Carter's big 3-pointer with 1:51 left pushed the Huskies ahead 83-74 to essentially end Arizona State's hope for a rally. Stewart finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Arizona State (19-11, 10-7) lost its third straight game. Rob Edwards led the Sun Devils with 23 points but leading scorer Remy Martin had one of his worst games of the season, finishing with six points on 2 of 14 shooting from the field, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
“I think we could have gotten better shots, especially my shots,” Martin said. “They've been going in a good amount of time this year, but it just wasn't falling. I just need to find something else if it's not falling to try and affect the game.”
Arizona State led 45-41 at halftime after making 6 of 11 shots from 3-point range. Alonzo Verge Jr. and Edwards both had 11 points for the Sun Devils before the break. Verge finished with 19 points.
Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said his team didn't do a good job of getting back on defense when Washington rallied in the second half.
“At home, you've got to win these type of games this time of year,” Hurley said. “You can't afford to lose these games. But credit to Washington — they have the players and a great coach.”
Lots of teams that have disappointing seasons feel they should have a better record. Washington actually has the math to back it up.
Coming into Thursday's game, the Huskies had scored just one point less than their Pac-12 opponents in 16 games, trailing 1,062-1,063. That would usually signify a record hovering around .500. Instead, the Huskies were 3-13.
Washington: It's a feel-good win for the Huskies, who haven't had many of them over the past two months. Washington obviously has some talented players and could be a very dangerous team next week in Las Vegas.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils are still in decent position to make the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season, but they're not trending the right way. Hurley says he's confident that Martin will bounce back from the tough night. The team's defense has to improve as well.
Washington travels to face Arizona on Saturday.
Arizona State hosts Washington State on Saturday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25