One day after coughing up a second half lead and nearly losing to Stanford, the Arizona State Sun Devils did the same thing against the UCLA Bruins.
But different from Wednesday, the Devils could not hang on and knock off the Pac-12 Tournament’s top seed, falling by a score of 80-75.
Arizona State led by as many as 13 points in the first half and 15 in the second, but after a pair of Jordan Bachynski free throws at the 7:46 mark, which put ASU up by 8, UCLA got six straight points from Shabazz Muhammad before a three from Larry Drew II, which gave the Bruins the lead.
It was back and forth from there, but a long two from Travis Wear with 11.3 seconds left gave the Bruins a 78-75 cushion. Jahii Carson drove the lane and kicked the ball out to an open Jonathan Gilling for one last three to try and tie the score with seconds left, but the ball bounced out and a couple of David Wear free throws allowed the Bruins to hold on for the victory
Jordan Bachynski, who dominated the Bruins in two regular season matchups, had his way with a team-best 22 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks.
And, one day after scoring a career-high 34 points against Stanford, freshman Jahii Carson tallied 21 points and seven assists against UCLA. Jonathan Gilling made five of 11 three point attempts and scored 17 points.
Finally, Arizona State’s free throw struggles were left behind them, as they sank 17 of 22 attempts for a 77.3 percent clip.
For the second day in a row the Sun Devils coughed up a late lead, and this time it cost them.
While Bachynski, Carson and Gilling had solid afternoons, no other Sun Devil reached double digits in points, and two players — Chris Colvin and Ruslan Pateev — did not score a point.
And senior Carrick Felix, who made just two of eight shots for seven points, was involved in a final-seconds scuffle that led to three technical fouls being assessed.
Stat of the Game:
The teams combined for just 14 turnovers on the afternoon — eight by ASU and six by UCLA.
He Said It:
ASU center Ruslan Pateev:
One of the toughest thing is to hear another team celebrating in the next locker room
— Руслан (@Ruslan23Pateev) March 14, 2013
• Bachynski scored 20 or more points just one other time this season, in a home win over UCLA when he scored 22.
• UCLA’s Larry Drew II’s 20 points topped UCLA, but four other Bruins reached double figures.
• Bachynski needed three blocked shots to set the Pac-12 record for swats in a season, and he got them in this game. His 116 blocks eclipses the previous mark of 115, which was set by ASU great Mario Bennett.
• Travis Wear, who didn’t suit up for UCLA in either of the two previous meetings with ASU, scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds.
The Sun Devils await to learn their postseason fate, but odds are it will lie in the NIT.