Sixteen different lead changes. Two overtimes. One winner.
The Arizona State Sun Devils pulled off a nail-biting upset against the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats defeating them 69-66 in double overtime.
"In terms of college basketball that's as good as it gets," head coach Herb Sendek said.
Center Jordan Bachynski was once again a hero for the Sun Devils as he came up with a game-ending block over Wildcat guard T.J. McConnell in overtime.
"We worked hard. We played against a phenomenal team tonight. There's a reason they're No. 2 in the country," Bachynski said. "No words can explain the joy that we feel now. That is huge for us, for our resume, and for our goals of [making the] post season tournament. Tonight was huge."
The Wildcats held a 63-59 point lead with 1:57 left play in double-overtime, and held all the momentum. However, Arizona State shooting guard Jermaine Marshall stepped up and scored eight of his 29 points in the last two minutes. The scoring spree began when he drained a three with 1:34 left to make it a 63-62 game.
After Wildcat center Kaleb Tarczewski hit two free throws, Marshall came up clutch once again and hit another three pointer to tie the game at 65. Wildcat forward Aaron Gordon was fouled and hit 1-2 free throws, to give Arizona the 66-65 lead. The Sun Devils got the ball back with 36 seconds, and they gave it to none other than Marshall.
With 14 seconds left to play Marshall drove past Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and laid it in to give the Sun Devils a 67-66 lead.
"I was trying to score just as fast as possible to cut the lead as fast as possible," Marshall said. "The play was set up for a three. He played me pretty close, he played me well, and he was playing great defense all game. Fortunately, I read him. He was up tight and I was able to go by him."
On the ensuing possession, McConnell drove down the court to try to tie it up. McConnell threw up a floater but had it blocked by center Jordan Bachynski in the closing seconds of the game. Point guard Jahii Carson then picked up the loose ball and dunked it on the other end, which he thought sealed the win for the Sun Devils. Fans stormed the court after the dunk, but there was still 0.7 seconds left on the game clock.
Sendek said he thought his team had won, and was shocked when there was time left on the clock.
"I started to congratulate the other players and coaches and after I did that I was expecting to leave the court. I just all of a sudden was stunned because nobody was leaving," Sendek said.
There was also some controversy because Carson hung on the rim after he dunked the basket, which can result in a technical foul. However, the refs didn't call anything and play resumed after the fans were back in their seats.
Wildcat guard Nick Johnson then threw up a prayer to tie the game up. The ball hit off the rim, and the fans stormed the court once again.
"I remember every year the crowd does the ‘A-S-U' chant and then the ‘U-of-A' chant. It's always a battle to see who's louder, and honestly, this is the first year that I heard the ‘A-S-U' louder than the ‘U-of-A,'" Bachynski said. "It was unreal - the energy that the crowd brought."
The Sun Devils had opportunities to win the game at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime but both of their last possessions resulted in bad looks from Marshall and Carson, respectively.
Next up the Sun Devils will travel to take on Colorado on Feb. 19.
- The Wildcats out-rebounded the Sun Devils 54-35.
- Carson scored 15 of his 17 points after the first half.
- McConnell led all Arizona scorers with 17 points.
- Arizona State was 15-26 from the free throw line, while Arizona was 16-30.
- Sun Devil Forward Shaquielle McKissic fouled out in the first overtime.