TEMPE, Ariz. — Regulation wasn’t enough. Neither was a single overtime. Try double overtime.
On this Valentine’s Day, in-state rivals Arizona and Arizona State treated fans to an instant classic.
And for the Sun Devils, it was their fans who celebrated, twice.
After Jermaine Marshall put ASU up one, 67-66, with 14 seconds left, Jordan Bachynski blocked TJ McDonnell’s potential game-tying layup. The loose ball ended up in the hands of Jahii Carson who raced down court for a two-handed slam, bringing the crowd to its feet and out onto the court.
One problem. The game wasn’t over.
Officials put 0.7 seconds on the clock, giving UA one last attempt to extend the game into a third overtime.
Nick Johnson’s halfcourt heave bounced off the rim.
Bedlam, for a second time.
Fans and students stormed the court to celebrate what was now official: ASU had upset second-ranked Arizona by a final of 69-66.
“Man, unexplainable,” Carson said.
Never before had ASU beaten a higher ranked team at home; and this was their first home win over a top 5 team since 1992.
“No words can explain the joy that we feel right now,” Bachynski said.
Marshall scored a game-high 29 points. Carson added 17 and Bachynski pitched in with 13, as well.
Nick Johnson led UA with 17, one of four playes in double figures.
ASU (19-6, 8-4) has won two in a row and six of its last seven. UA, meanwhile, lost its second in four games to drop to 23-2.
With the game tied at 41, Carson scored six unanswered points to give ASU it’s largest lead of the game. He would add three more points — with a free throw and jumper, to account for nine straight Sun Devils’ points.
Marshall, who scored 12 of his team’s 21 first half points, has totaled 20 or more points in four of his five past games.
Bachynski’s eight blocks give him 24 over his past three games.
ASU and UA missed a total of 25 free throws with the Wildcats missing 11 in the second half and overtime combined.
ASU did not score the last 2:38 of regulation, allowing UA to overcome a five-point deficit (51-46) to force overtime.
ASU was outrebounded 54-35, including 18-5 on the offensive glass. Bachynski, the tallest player on the court at 7-foot-2, had zero rebounds at the half. He finished with seven for the game.
STAT OF THE GAME
In the second half and overtime combined, ASU outscored UA, 48-40. The Sun Devils shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) compared to the Wildcats’ 35.3 percent (12-of-34) in the final 30 minutes.
HE SAID IT
“What an entertaining and exciting college basketball game,” head coach Herb Sendek said. “The environment was tremendous. In terms of college basketball that’s as good as it gets. I stand in awe at the players on both teams and their ability to perform on a stage like that in such competitive conditions. They really have my total respect.”
The game featured 16 lead changes and nine ties with no team leading by more than six points.
The NBA All-Star Break allowed several former Sun Devils and Wildcats to attend the game. ASU’s Jeff Ayres and Carrick Felix were courtside, while Jerryd Bayless, Chase Budinger, Solomon Hill and Derrick Williams sat behind the UA bench.
Suns GM Ryan McDonough and former NBA head coach Doug Collins were also among the 10,699 fans in attendance.
ASU hits the road. The Sun Devils travel to Colorado looking for the season sweep of the Buffaloes. Tip-off on Wednesday, February 19 is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. MST with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Last month, the Sun Devils beat Colorado, 72-51. Jahii Carson scored 18 points, while Jonathan Gilling added 12, hitting all four of his three-pointers off the bench.