Cold Shooting Dooms ASU in Boulder

Three Buffaloes score in double figures as Colorado downs ASU 61-52 on Wednesday night.

Despite shooting just 9-28 from the floor in the first half, Arizona State only trailed Colorado by one, 27-26, going into halftime on Wednesday. The Sun Devils used a pair of Jahii Carson lay-ups and a Jermaine Marshall steal and transition bucket to open the second half on a 6-0 run to build a five point lead with 16:10 to play.

But Colorado would respond with a run of their own as the Sun Devils went ice cold from the field.

Led by junior Askia Booker, the Buffaloes regained control with an 18-4 run, jumping ahead 45-36 with 6:55 to play. Booker scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, igniting the Buffalo offense as the Sun Devils struggled to come up with points in the second half.

The junior was one of three Colorado players in double figures on the night. Sophomore Josh Scott added 13 points and 13 rebounds while junior Xavier Johnson chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds.

But the Sun Devils (19-7, 8-5 Pac-12) weren't ready to throw in the towel, scoring six straight points of their own on a pair of three point baskets from Shaquielle McKissic and Jon Gilling to trim the Colorado lead to three with 6:24 to go. After a pair of Johnson free throws, Gilling nailed his third three pointer of the second half to pull ASU within two, but the Sun Devils were unable to get any closer down the stretch.

Gilling finished with 10 points off the bench, joining Carson as the only Sun Devils in double-figures in the loss.

As a team, Arizona State shot 17-54 from the floor (31.4%) and 7-25 (28.0%) from behind the three point line.

Marshall, who scored 29 points against Arizona last week, struggled to find his rhythm offensively, finishing with just seven points on 3-12 shooting, including 1-8 from deep.

Arizona State was overwhelmed in the paint by Colorado (20-7, 8-5 Pac-12) throughout the night as the Buffaloes out-rebounded the Sun Devils 48-27, including 15 offensive rebounds leading to 12 second chance points for the home team. ASU was held without a second chance point and collected just five offensive rebounds.

The ASU frontcourt was plagued by foul trouble throughout the night as Gilling picked up two fouls in the game's first six minutes, sending him back to the bench. Both Jordan Bachynski, who finished with just four points and three rebounds, and Eric Jacobsen each were called with four fouls in the game, limiting their aggressiveness late in the contest.

10 players saw action for the Sun Devils in the first half - including Gilling, Bo Barnes, Brandan Kearney, Sai Tummala and Calaen Robinson off the bench - as Head Coach Herb Sendek desperately search for an answer to the team's shooting woes.

Colorado improved to 50-1 under Head Coach Tad Boyle at home when out-rebounding the opposition in the win on Wednesday.

With the loss, ASU fell to 4-4 on the year in road games in to just 2-4 in conference play. Colorado, meanwhile, improved to 16-1 at the Coors Events Center on the season and have now won five of their last six since falling to the Sun Devils last month in Tempe.

Arizona State now finds itself tied with California for fourth place in the Pac-12 standings as they get set to face Utah on Sunday in Salt Lake City. Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm Arizona time.

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