The ASU Sun Devils started out lethargically and never recovered on Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats as they fell 68-51. Over the game's first 12 minutes, the Sun Devils committed a baffling 10 turnovers and the Wildcats took advantage.
The Sun Devils did not share the basketball in the game's opening half, often going one-on-one and driving to the basket. Unfortunately, the Wildcat big men prevented easy baskets and ASU ended up with a low 20-point output for the half. That kind of play leads to big deficits, which is exactly what ASU found itself in as the team trailed 34-20 at halftime.
ASU posted a more respectable 31 points in the second half, largely behind the efforts of Ruslan Pateev. The big man went four-for-eight for 12 points and five rebounds. All of the other ASU starters, however, struggled immensely.
Keala King was efficient while on the floor (eight points on four-of-six shooting) but also had five turnovers and didn't see much playing time late in the contest after picking up his third foul. Trent Lockett managed to put up only eight points on two-of-eight shooting, and he was irrelevant for most of the night as the Wildcats locked down on him. Although Carrick Felix was able to bolster the offensive total with nine points, Kyle Cain did not score at all and had to leave the game with five fouls in the second half.
The Sun Devils made a run in the second half to cut a 23-point deficit down to 13, but ultimately the turnovers and inconsistent play from the starters proved to be too much. The Wildcats closed out a 68-51 victory by attacking with their big men and forcing the Sun Devils to foul.
ASU needs to find some consistent play soon if they want to make a move in the conference standings. The Sun Devils are currently 0-1 in the Pac-12 and have road games against USC and UCLA in the coming week.