It's tough to imagine a first half where more could have gone wrong for ASU 15-13 (7-8) against No. 13 Utah 22-5 (12-3). The first frame of Thursday night's game was one of the worst in recent memory for the Sun Devils. They couldn't recover from the abysmal showing, falling to the Utes in Salt Lake City 83-41.
The Sun Devils had nine points in the first half while Utah blocked 10 ASU shots. The maroon and gold also turned it over 10 times and shot a miserable 15.4 percent (4 of 26) from the field while going 0 for 6 from beyond the arc. Seemingly every time down the floor, ASU turned the ball over or missed a shot. On the defensive end, Utah grabbed numerous offensive boards along the way, turning them into second chance points
It all added up to a 41-9 Utah lead at halftime.
This is what a nine-point half looks like: pic.twitter.com/mIqxXinZ6v— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) February 27, 2015
Although ASU quickly eclipsed its nine points in the first half, Utah put its reserves in roughly midway through the second frame and once again went on a long 20-4 run. At one point, the Utes reserves made nine straight shots. ASU finished the game shooting 28 percent (14 of 50) from the field with 14 turnovers. Willie Atwood and Gerry Blakes each had 12 points
Utah finished the night shooting an incredible 63.3 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 32-28. Senior guard Delon Wright had 12 points for the Utes in the victory with eight Utes players scoring at least eight points. It's now fair to say a chance to sit on the NCAA Tournament bubble on Selection Sunday has all but vanished for the Sun Devils. They'll need to win the Pac-12 Tournament in order to find themselves in the big dance.
Next up for ASU is Colorado on Sunday night in Boulder. That game starts at 6:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU.