Well played? No.
Ugly to watch at times? Yes, pretty much throughout.
But exhilarating? Absolutely.
They say good things come to those who wait, and though Arizona State fans sat patiently for nearly 22 years and another 50 minutes of back-and-forth basketball Friday waiting for the drought to end, Herb Sendek’s squad made sure to send them home with a Valentine’s Day victory to remember.
Led by Jermaine Marshall’s 29-point performance and saved by Jordan Bachynski’s last-second block in double overtime, ASU held on for a 69-66 win over in-state rival Arizona for its first home win over a top 5 team since 1992.
Here’s a look at the instant classic of a rivalry game by the numbers:
The win was Arizona State’s first at home over at top 2 team in school history. In fact heading into Friday night’s game, the Sun Devils had only three previous wins over top 5 teams in Tempe.
Arizona State moved to 3-0 in overtime games this season, while Arizona fell to 0-1. The last time the two in-state rivals went to double overtime was March 11, 1995.
In his swan song at ASU, Jordan Bachynski is making a habit of winning games at the defensive end. Friday’s game-winning block was his third of the season. Even more astounding is the fact that in his last three games, the senior has 24 swats — the most in any three-game span during his collegiate career.
Friday marked just the second time Arizona lost an in-state rivalry game when ranked in the top 5. The other occurrence came back on Feb. 20, 1992 in a 77-74 defeat in Tempe.
How tight was the double overtime contest? Neither ASU nor Arizona led by more than six points at any point and in all there were nine ties and 16 lead changes.
With a win over Arizona, ASU looks to be in prime position to make the NCAA tournament. Not only do the Sun Devils already have 19 wins, they have eight in the conference, including one against the league’s elite squad. With six regular season games and at least one Pac-12 tournament game guaranteed, ASU’s has the chance to increase its already impressive resume in the coming weeks.
Before its three-point victory, ASU had lost three in a row to Arizona overall and 13 in a row when the Wildcats came in ranked.
Arizona senior guard T.J. McConnell led his team in scoring with 17 points, but he did so on a season-high 15 shots from the field. McConnell on seven of those attempts but was limited to just two assists.
Despite ending up on the wrong side of scoreboard, the Wildcats were the far superior team on the boards Friday. Sean Miller’s squad held a sizable 52-36 advantage on the glass. And of those 52 rebounds, 16 came at the offensive end.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field, as ASU converted on 40 percent of its attempts and UA converted on 35.9 percent of attempts. Still, the two Pac-12 foes were even worse from the free throw line. Of a combined 56 attempts, the Sun Devils and Wildcats missed a remarkable 25, including six in the two extra sessions. Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon was again the main culprit from the charity stripe, missing five his eight attempts.
If not for Jermaine Marshall’s efforts at the offensive end, the Sun Devils would have been in no position to knock off the second-ranked Wildcats. Marshall, who missed the teams’ first meeting back on Jan. 16, scored a game-high 29 points and hit four of his eight attempts from three-point range. ASU moved to 9-2 when Marshall scores 20 points or more in a contest.