Sun Devils no match for Wildcats' speed

Falling to its archrival, the Arizona Wildcats, Saturday night in Tempe, the maroon and gold found themselves struggling to put points on the board. The speed that the Wildcats found in the second half left the Sun Devils unable to maintain control of their opponent. Always a step ahead, the Wildcats were able to secure a 77-58 victory.

"It seemed like they were a step quicker to the ball tonight," Senior Derek Glasser admitted. "There is no excuse for that, they beat us 3-0 to lose balls in the second half and we had beat them 3-1 in the first half so they definitely were quicker to the ball in the second half."

"I think, again, we were just a step slow on our rotations," Glasser said. "It seemed like they just swung the ball around. We didn't have as good of ball pressure as we've been having in games. They were able to get the ball around the perimeter quick and it seemed like our rotations were a little slow tonight."

Defensively in the second half, the Sun Devils were unable to stop their opponent. Allowing the Wildcats to shoot 75% from the field made it impossible for the Sun Devils to regain control of the game that they let slip away.

"They seemed like they couldn't miss a shot or a free throw for the whole second half," Glasser commented. "I know they shot 70-some% from the field in the second half. If we're going to give that up, then we're not going to win. They were clearly the better team tonight. That's probably, I'd guess, one of their best halves of the season and it really wasn't one of our better halves. If they have a great half and we don't, obviously they're going to come out of here with a win."

A typically successful offensive team hit a roadblock tonight after gaining a 20-10 lead early in the first half. Taking a turn for the worse, Glasser and his teammates were incapable of making shots and crucial free throws.

"Guys just have to go to the line and knock them down," Glasser said. "It seemed to suck the air not only out of us, but out of the building when we were up 20-10 and I think Taylor (Rohde) went to the line and missed two and then missed the 1 and 1 then Ty missed one, Rik missed one, and Eric.

"It just seemed like there was a cover over the basket, we couldn't make a shot for a while. They went on a big run to end the first half and it seemed to just propel them into the second half."

Simply put, the maroon and gold were outplayed throughout the competition. Losing control of the game, caused by the lack of scoring when given the opportunity, left the Wildcats to use their speed to their advantage.

"Derrick Williams played a heck of a game," Glasser noted concerning Arizona's forward. "It seemed like wherever they were driving from they got into the paint and just dished to the open guy. Again, our rotations were just a step slow and they did a great job of getting to the basket and finding the open man."

The absence of Jamelle McMillan was apparent throughout the competition. Unable to compete because of a bruised foot, McMillan was missed by his teammates, who could have benefited from his leadership on and off the court.

"Losing any of your starters is always a big impact," Glasser remarked. "Jamelle brings a sense of urgency, he is one of the leaders on the team, he's a great defender and just somebody else who can help with the ball, bringing up the ball and just taking care of the ball. I think it hurt a little bit not having his energy and his defensive presence out there."

Already looking forward to their next matchup, the Sun Devils will have another opportunity to prevail over the Wildcats when they travel to Tucson later this season. Glasser and his fellow seniors plan to take advantage of their last opportunity to face Arizona.

Glasser stated, "it sucks to lose to anybody at home but we still have a chance to go down there and get it back."


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