Devils suffer second straight loss

ASU fell to Alabama 76-71 in the College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic Tuesday night in Kansas City. For the second straight night the Arizona State Sun Devils were not able to hold on to their late lead exhibiting their inexperience and lack of go-to guy down the stretch.

Most of tonight’s contest consisted of Arizona State guard Gerry Blakes willing his team into virtuous offensive situations. The junior college transfer finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. When Blakes wasn’t scoring the ball he was creating offensive opportunities for his teammates surrounding the perimeter when he aggressively drove toward the basket.

ASU’s three-point specialists have become increasingly more confident in their shooting abilities as of late. Notably after Sendek mentioned the team may need to be a bit more assertive rather than passive with its shot selection.

With 1:14 remaining in the game and Alabama leading 68-65 Jon Gilling received the ball on a rotation around the wing and without hesitation rose up and knocked down the three-pointer to tie the game.

On Alabama’s next possession guard Levi Randolph made a tough baseline floater to regain the lead for the Crimson Tide. Randolph did it all for Alabama Tuesday.

The senior shot eight for 13 from the field as well as a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line to combine for 28 points. As a team, Alabama who shot just 28 percent in the first half, were torrid in second stanza to the tune of 59 percent.

After Randolph’s floater ASU called a timeout with 45 seconds remaining and down 70-68.

Immediately exiting the huddle the Sun Devils moved the ball down the court, passed it to Gilling and the senior took an incredibly misguided fade away three with 27 seconds left on the shot clock.

The shot failed to hit the rim and it would lead to Arizona State failing to secure the victory.

A few more Alabama converted free throws and an insignificant Bo Barnes buzzer beater later the 76-71 Alabama victory went final.

In this game freshman point guard Kodi Justice received his first start of the season in place of Tra Holder who did not enter the contest Tuesday. Justice looked confident in his starting debut. Although he shot just two for nine from the field the freshman did register four assists and zero turnovers.

Forward Eric Jacobsen had another productive night at center. Jacobsen played 36 minutes while scoring 13 points and securing six rebounds.

Alas, it was not enough to get a victory in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic’s third place game.

ASU will depart Kansas City and head back home to Tempe in order to prepare for its game next Saturday night at 7 p.m. against Colgate University.

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