Momentum is a fickle thing. Following the Sun Devils big win over rival Arizona, the team had a rocky road trip losing to Colorado and Utah. ASU recovered with possibly its strongest two-game stretch of the season as they held off the Bay Area schools, but a visit to Oregon leaves them with two straight losses, capped by Saturday afternoon's 78-76 overtime loss to the Beavers, heading into the conference tournament.
The Sun Devils got off to yet another slow start, a troubling trend in their recent away-from-home tests, as they found themselves trailing 9-1 quickly. They recovered and took the lead shortly after though, setting the table for a back-and-forth first half that found Oregon State up five heading into the break. Most troubling was center Jordan Bachynski's lack of production in the opening half -one rebound, zero points, and two fouls- as well as foul trouble for guards Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall.
Marshall's struggles lasted throughout the game, missing his first ten shots before hitting a three in the final seconds of the second half to tie the game at 67 apiece and forcing some free basketball. However, the fouls did in him and forward Jon Gilling, who scored 20 points and was 6-of-7 from deep, as both fouled out in the extra period. This left the scoring up to Carson (the sophomore finished with 24, continuing his strong late-season performance) and guard Shaquille McKissic, and though the duo tried, they were unable to overcome the Beavers' balanced attack.
Next up for the Sun Devils is the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, which begins Wednesday. Their seeding is dependent on the result of the Colorado-Cal game. If Cal wins, ASU will be the 3-seed, earning itself a first round bye. If Colorado wins, they will be seeded sixth, earning itself a likely matchup with USC in the first game, and if they win, a showdown with UCLA looms in the second round.