Fork Report: Sun Devils falter late, fall to Utah
The Story: Things looked pretty good for Arizona State when reserve guard Chris Colvin hit a three-pointer with 7:17 to go. Colvin’s basket put the Devils up 49-41.
But the fun would stop there.
Utah would close the game on a 19-6 run, putting away Arizona State 60-55 at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City Wednesday night.
Utes’ center Jason Washburn scored a career-high 26 points, including a huge reverse layup with 1:26 left that put Utah up 54-53 — a lead they would not relinquish.
With the loss, Arizona State falls to 18-7 overall and 7-5 in Pac-12 play. Worse yet, a defeat at the hands of a team with an RPI ranking of 179 puts a huge smudge on ASU’s NCAA Tournament résumé.
Utah improves to 11-13 overall and 3-9 in Pac-12 play.
The Good: Colvin played very well off the bench, scoring 10 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. His hustle also helped the Sun Devils erase a seven-point halftime deficit.
Carrick Felix scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to notch his 10th double-double of the season.
The Bad: Freshman phenom Jahii Carson struggled mightily in the game. Although Carson scored 12 points, he had just one assist and six turnovers while fouling out with :17 left.
But the biggest play of the game was Carson’s foul on Utah’s Brandon Taylor 30-plus feet from the hoop with the Utes leading by one and the shot clock showing :03 and the game clock at :32. Taylor calmly hit both free throws to stretch Utah’s lead to three points.
Jordan Bachynski’s up-and-down season continued as the junior center scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in the loss. Since dominating UCLA with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Bachynski has totaled 25 points and 19 rebounds in his next five games.
And ASU’s struggles at the free throw line have reached crisis level. The Sun Devils hit just 4-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe, while Utah cashed in, hitting 17-of-23.
Player of the Game: Utah’s Washburn was the best player on the floor, and dominated ASU big men in both contests this year, averaging 22.5 points and 14 rebounds against the Sun Devils.
He Said It: “We have trouble matching up with him. Our centers have allowed him to get to the baseline. We’ve talked about not giving him angles, and he got angles to the basket, so we had to try to trap him, but because he goes baseline, it’s hard to get to him.” — ASU assistant Larry Greer in a postgame radio interview with play-by-play announcer Tim Healey and analyst Kyle Dodd.
• ASU scored just two field goals in the last seven minutes of the game.
• Utah won the game despite only five points from their leading scorer, Jarred DuBois.
• There were zero fast break points scored in the game.
• ASU sophomore Jonathan Gilling hit a three-pointer in the game, extending his streak of games with at least one trey to 43.
What’s Next: The Sun Devils travel to Boulder Saturday to take on the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Event Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.