Shooting Woes Lead to Defeat by Archrival

Approximately half an hour before tip-off, a five second power outage hit Wells Fargo Arena. The darkness surrounding ASU's game, unfortunately lasted much longer. Cold shooting, and porous defense in the second half doomed the Sun Devils as they were defeated 80-70 by Arizona.

The start of the game was a promising one. Arizona State (7-11, 1-8) displayed a lot of passion and aggressiveness, and led 7-0 with barley two minutes passing by and at the 15:57 mark they were ahead 13-4. Arizona (13-6, 6-3) came back to its senses and went on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 17 apiece with 12:06 remaining in the half. At the 8:23 mark the visitors were ahead 21-19 and they never looked back. The home team scored only nine points the rest of the way and went to the locker room trailing 35-28.

The second half started in dramatic fashion, as a technical foul was assessed to Mustafa Shakur and the Arizona bench and sent the Devils to the line to shoot six free throws. Serge Angounou missed his two shots and Kevin Kruger made three of four, and on the ensuing possession his three-point basket brought ASU within seven points 41-34 at the 16:07 mark. However, they would never build on that momentum and the Cats' 62.5% shooting just compounded matters. With 3:21 left Arizona was ahead 71-56, and only a flurry of points by ASU in the next few minutes prevented this loss from being a downright ugly one.

Kruger paced all players on the floor with 23 and is the only player to play all 40 minutes. Jeff Pendergraph had his first double-double with 17 points and a career high 11 rebounds. Bryson Kruger chipped in with 14, including 4-6 from behind the arc. ASU won the battle of the boards 39-35 and had 16 offensive rebounds. However, they shot 24.1% in the first half and allowed Arizona to score at a 62.5% clip in the second. Hassan Adams had 21 points for the Cats.

"I thought that Arizona's veterans stepped up and really played well for them," said ASU Head Coach Rob Evans, "especially Hassan Adams and Mustafa Shakur stepped up and made plays when they needed them. Hassan Adams in a stretch took over the game and their veterans played better then our veterans on the court. Our team played well they executed on offense, and they were focused. We got some guys tired in the game; our bench is not that deep and did not get the production needed from the bench. We had some good looks for the most part we just missed shots inside. We executed well on offense we just did not make shots."

Up next for ASU is road trip to Los Angeles, beginning with a visit to UCLA on Thursday of next week at 8:30.

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