TEMPE — It had been almost 12 years since the Arizona State Sun Devils beat the Arizona Wildcats when they were nationally ranked. The streak has come to a close, as the Sun Devils shocked the Wildcats 69-66 in double overtime behind Jermaine Marshall‘s 29 points and Jordan Bachynski‘s key block in the waning seconds of the game.
With the Sun Devils (19-6, 8-4) leading by one, Arizona’s T.J. McConnell got to the lane and put up a shot that was rejected by Bachynski, leading to a breakaway dunk by Jahii Carson. The crowd couldn’t contain themselves and rushed the court, although there was still time left on the clock.
When the Wildcats (23-2, 10-2) got the ball back, they got a pretty good look from Nick Johnson, but ultimately there would be no third overtime and the Sun Devils essentially punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament. Unless they lose the remainder of their games, the win over the No. 2 team in the nation plus 20 wins should get them into the big dance.
Marshall didn’t play for the Sun Devils in the first matchup between these teams, when the Wildcats stomped the Sun Devils 91-68 in Tucson. They were glad to have him this time around, as he provided a badly-needed offensive spark against the No. 3 defensive team in the nation. Marshall played 45 minutes, shooting 11-for-23 from the field and 4-for-8 from the 3-point line. He added five rebounds and a steal to go with his 29 points.
Arizona was led by McConnell’s 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block on 7-for-15 shooting. Every Arizona starter played more than 45 minutes, with the bench going 0-for-8 for zero points in 22 minutes of play. Nick Johnson scored 14 with nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Aaron Gordon scored 13 with 10 rebounds and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was held in check, scoring nine with eight rebounds and two steals.
Although the Wildcats get all the publicity for their defense, it was the Sun Devils who stepped up. They held the Wildcats to just 35.9 percent shooting from the floor, with Bachynski’s eight blocks helping to somewhat control the paint (the Wildcats did lead in offensive rebounds 18-5). At the end of the day, both teams should make the tournament, but the Sun Devils would probably take a win over a hated rival versus an invitation to the tournament any day.
Sun Devils vs. Wildcats by the Numbers
53.3 vs. 57.7 — Neither team could make their free-throws, as the Wildcats shot just 53.3 percent to the Sun Devils’ 57.7 percent.
54 vs. 35 — The Wildcats dominated the glass, outrebounding the Sun Devils by 19.
0 — Eric Jacobsen of the Sun Devils played 18 minutes and put up zero positive stats. He turned the ball over once and had two fouls, but that was it.
The Wildcats will travel to Utah on Wednesday, February 19, while the Sun Devils go to Colorado on the same day.