Relief. That’s what the Arizona State Sun Devils must have felt after winning their first conference game of the season Saturday afternoon.
After beginning Pac-12 play 0-4, the Sun Devils rode a strong performance from beyond the arc to a 78-72 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes. ASU hit 10 of 20 shots from long range, including four from guard Bo Barnes.
The back-and-forth affair saw a score of lead changes before ASU was able to pull away in the game’s final few minutes. Five Sun Devils scored in double figures: Shaquielle McKissic (16), Gerry Blakes (12), Eric Jacobsen (10), Tra Holder (10) and Barnes (13).
With the victory, the Sun Devils move to 9-9 overall this season and 9-2 at home. ASU has a few days off before heading one state over for a two-game road trip against California and Stanford.
Before the road trip begins, here’s how the Sun Devils earned their first Pac-12 win, by the numbers:
Colorado is yet to win a road game this season. They are 0-6 and lost all three games of their recent road trip.
Not only was Saturday’s game ASU’s first conference win, it was the first time they even led at halftime.
The Devils took a one-point lead into the break after McKissic’s sensational sequence of events in the half’s waning seconds. The senior hit a three followed by a slam dunk that turned the game from a four-point deficit into an ASU lead.
ASU was only the third team this season to score 70 or more points against the Buffaloes this season. In fact, the Devils’ 78 points were the most allowed by Colorado in a game thus far.
Eric Jacobsen led all Sun Devils with six defensive rebounds and seven total. Two other ASU players grabbed six boards, Shaquielle McKissic and Tra Holder.
Nine different players scored in double figures. The five ASU players are listed above, but four of Colorado’s five starters also scored at least 10 points.
After a slow start to the game in which ASU shot 12-of-26 from the field, the Sun Devils got hot in the second half, making 67 percent (14-of-21) of their shots in the game’s final 20 minutes.