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Fork Report: Sun Devils outlast USC in OT

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you a fork report, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from ASU’s overtime win over USC on January 24. ASU 98, USC 93.

The Story: Evan Gordon scored 28 points, including a huge three-pointer in the early stages of overtime to lead the Arizona State Sun Devils to a thrilling 98-93 win over USC in front of 6,018 fans at Wells Fargo Arena Thursday night.

The game got to overtime on a combination of poor ASU free-throw shooting and unconscious three-point shooting from USC. Jio Fontan canned a three with :01 left in regulation — one of 15 treys the Trojans hit on the night.

The Good:The Sun Devils played confidently on offense, scoring 98 points and only turning the ball over 10 times on the evening.

In addition to Gordon’s 28, Jahii Carson pumped in 21 while handing out eight assists. Carrick Felix bounced back from an off-game against Arizona with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jonathan Gilling had 13 points and 11 boards.

The unsung hero was senior post Ruslan Pateev, who played 23 minutes off the bench, scoring eight points, grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots. Pateev hit two big free throws with 1:38 remaining in overtime to help seal the deal.

The Bad: Broken record time. Free throw shooting kept the door open for the Trojans, and nearly cost the Sun Devils the basketball game. On the night, ASU hit 25-of-36 from the stripe, but could have made things a lot easier on themselves.

Carrick Felix missed one of two free tosses with :08 left in regulation that allowed for Fontan’s late heroics that sent the contest to overtime.

He Said It: “I was so proud of our guys when they came over after regulation because they immediately gave me confidence. They had great body language, they had tremendous interaction among themselves and they were just ready to go play another five minutes.” — ASU head coach Herb Sendek.


• ASU had four players (Gordon, Carson, Felix and Gilling) log more than 40 minutes of playing time in the game. Gordon played all 45.

• Jonathan Gilling had 11 rebounds to lead Arizona State. It was Gilling’s fourth double-digit rebounding game of the season.

• After scoring just three points total in ASU’s first three Pac-12 games, Gordon is averaging 19.7 points per game in the last three contests and is hitting .552 (21-of-38) from the field.

• Carson tied a career-high with 8 assists.

• The Sun Devils’ 98 points were a season-high, and the most points they’ve scored in a game since they beat San Francisco 104-65 on November 20, 2009.

• USC’s 15 three-pointers were a season-high. Their previous high was 9 vs. UC Riverside in a 70-26 win on December 15.

• ASU was without the services of reserve guard Chris Colvin for the second straight game. The senior, who was suspended for last Saturday’s loss to Arizona, sat on the bench in street clothes with a brace on his right wrist. “I have no update on Chris Colvin,” Sendek said when asked to update the guard’s status.

• Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney, who officially joined the ASU program earlier this week, was on the bench with his new teammates. Kearney is eligible to play following in the second semester of the 2013-14 season.

Coming Up Next:

Arizona State wraps up their three-game homestand Saturday afternoon at 2:00 when they host the red-hot UCLA Bruins at Wells Fargo Arena.