Arizona State’s season, and the college careers of many of its stars, came to a close Thursday in Milwaukee in a heartbreaking loss to the Texas Longhorns, 87-85.
ASU found themselves trailing seventh-seeded Texas early in the game, as the Longhorns got out to a hot start shooting.
But the team hit the boards late in the first half — rebounding perhaps as well as they have all season, though playing one of the best rebounding teams in the country — and put together a strong run midway through the second half to go up one with less than a minute to play.
Led by Jordan Bachynski, Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall, the Sun Devils found themselves in an 85-85 tie with 17 seconds to go, thanks to the clutch free-throw shooting of Jonathan Gilling.
Then Texas redialed its calling card — offensive rebounding — as star center Cameron Ridley corralled a three-point miss by teammate Jonathan Holmes and put it back up for a buzzer-beating layup.
Here’s a look back at ASU’s tournament loss by the numbers:
Senior center Jordan Bachynski blocked just one shot against the Longhorns Thursday, three shy of his season average of 4.1 per game. His presence on the offensive end of the floor, however, was enormous.
In just three minutes and 49 seconds, senior guard Jermaine Marshall had already surpassed his three-point total of the previous two games — against Stanford and Oregon, respectively — by knocking down a pair of threes. He finished the game with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-of-8 from downtown). Marshall also pulled down a season-high seven rebounds on Thursday.
The Longhorns started the game shooting 6-for-6 from the floor, giving them a 13-7 lead over the Sun Devils. Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix set the pace, with 11 of the team’s first 13 points.
ASU hit eight threes on the night, all coming from either Marshall or Jonathan Gilling, who finished the contest with 15 points and four three-pointers.
ASU closed out the first half with 15 rebounds — four more than Texas’ 11. The Longhorns were 10th in the nation in rebounding this season, while the Sun Devils were just 215th.
Sophomore guard Jahii Carson scored 19 points Thursday on 6-of-16 shooting. He added nine assists, four rebounds and the team’s only two steals to his effort. The Mesa native also turned the ball over a game-high six times.
Bachynski tallied a game-high 25 points in the losing effort, coming just one point shy of his career high — set earlier this season. The senior center hit 9-of-12 free throw attempts and grabbed seven rebounds, as well.
ASU closed the season on a not-so-high note, failing to win a basketball game away from Wells-Fargo Arena since back on Jan. 29 — 51 days ago.