TEMPE — I’m willing to bet the Arizona State Sun Devils were extremely loose and confident coming out for the second half. I’m also willing to bet they would have considered this the worst loss of the season, if the Oregon Ducks could have completed the comeback that fell just short, as the Sun Devils held on for a 74-72 win.
The Sun Devils (18-6, 7-4) lead 48-27 with 14:42 left on the clock in the second half. Before they could figure out what hit them, it was 59-59 with 5:43 to go. The Ducks even took a lead for a short time, after Johnathan Loyd made two free-throws. When the dust settled, the Sun Devils made enough free-throws to win and came up big defensively on the last play of the game to win.
Jordan Bachynski sealed the win with his ninth block of the game, on a Joseph Young layup attempt with one second remaining. Bachynski led the Sun Devils with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks. He made 7-of-8 field goal attempts and 12-of-14 free-throws.
Jahii Carson‘s shot wasn’t falling, but he helped the Sun Devils in other ways. He scored 11 points on 2-for-10 from the field, but got to the free-throw line 12 times, making seven. He also led the team with 12 rebounds and six assists.
The Ducks (15-8, 3-8) were led by Young’s 29 points on 11-for-22 from the field and 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. He also added three rebounds and three assists.
Sun Devils by the Numbers
- 39 – The Sun Devils attempted 39 free-throws, while the Ducks attempted just 18.
- 36.6 percent – Arizona State’s defense held Oregon to just 36.6 percent shooting.
- 4 – The Sun Devils had four different players play over 37 minutes.
Sun Devil Stud
For the second consecutive game, Jordan Bachynski put together a near triple-double with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks. It was nice to see him go to the free-throw line more often as well, as he made 12-of-14 attempts.
Sun Devil Dud
Collectively, the Sun Devil bench was awful. They scored just five points with three rebounds and one assist. They turned the ball over twice and committed five fouls in 37 minutes as a unit. Granted, Jonathan Gilling, Brandan Kearney and Bo Barnes didn’t get a lot of opportunity, but they didn’t do much with what they had anyways.
The Sun Devils will have the next six days off before an enormous home matchup against the University of Arizona on Friday, February 14 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona.
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for the Sports Illustrated/Fansided NBA site HoopsHabit.com and the Arizona Sports site HeatWaved.com. He also covers high school sports for The Arizona Republic. Follow me on Twitter @DunlapNBA.