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Another heartbreaking loss for ASU

TEMPE, AZ — If you’re a basketball fan, and you like
buzzer beaters, you
should probably get down to Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

Southern Mississippi senior Darnell Dodson canned a three-
pointer as
the buzzer sounded lifting the Golden Eagles to a 64-61
win over the
Arizona State Sun Devils on Monday night.

It was the third straight game at Wells Fargo that’s come
down to a
buzzer beater. ASU’s Carrick Felix hit a last-second trey
to beat North
Dakota State. The last two haven’t gone the Sun Devils’
way — NAU’s
Stallon Saldivar canned a contested three with 0.6 seconds
left on
Saturday to give the Lumberjacks 69-68 win. And then of
course, there
was tonight.

Dodson, a transfer from Kentucky, was playing in his first
game of the
season after sitting out the fall semester. He had been
dismissed from
the USM team after a campus incident in March, but was
reinstated by
head coach Larry Eustachy.

Dodson finished with a team-high 17 points, all of which
came in the
2nd half.

ASU led for most of the first 32 minutes of the game,
until reserve guard
Neil Watson made a layup to give the Eagles their first
lead at 39-38 with
8:09 remaining in regulation.

The USM lead ballooned to as many as 11 points after
Angelo Johnson
hit a 3-pointer with just under 5 minutes to play.

But ASU fought back, playing pressure defense and forcing
turnovers,
they got to within two with :05 left, when sophomore Keala
King was
fouled on his way to the hoop. King knocked down both
free throws to
tie the game, but Dodson was able to hit the contested
three with ASU’s
Chanse Creekmur in his face.

The game was also marred by an altercation at midcourt
after Southern
Miss’ LaShay Page hit a three-pointer to tie the game at
34-all with
12:17 to go. The details are fuzzy, but there were
punches thrown
between USM’s Torye Pelham and ASU’s Ruslan Pateev, who
were both
ejected from the game, along with another unidentified USM
player, who
wasn’t in uniform and left the bench area.

With the win, USM, who had an RPI ranking of 4 heading
into Monday,
improves their record to 9-2. Arizona State falls to 4-7
on the season.

The Sun Devils will host Fresno State on Wednesday
afternoon.

Stat of the Game – The Golden Eagles killed ASU on
the
offensive glass, grabbing 18 of them which led to 15
second chance
points. Pelham had 9 by himself before being ejected.

“We just had a hard time with their athleticism and size
and didn’t come
down with enough rebounds,” ASU head coach Herb Sendek
said.

Stat of the Game Part II – ASU’s best player and
leading scorer
Trent Lockett had 11 points, but only 5 field goal
attempts. It was the
5th straight game Lockett has had single-digit field goal
attempts. In
his last five games, Lockett has averaged only 5.2
attempts per game. In
his first six games this season, Lockett averaged 11.5
field goal
attempts.

Fracas Aftermath – Nobody seemed to really know
what
happened between Pateev and Pelham, and that includes
Sendek.

“I didn’t see the altercation and as it escalated, I was
intent to keep our
team on the bench, because I saw them get up,” Sendek
said. “And it
appeared to me like the other team had left the bench. I
don’t
understand why there wasn’t any repercussions for that.”