The No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devils claimed the best start in school history at 12-0 through non-conference play. The Pac-12, however, has proved to be a different challenge.
The Sun Devils (12-2, 0-2 Pac-12) dropped their second straight game to begin conference play, falling to the Colorado Buffaloes 90-81 in overtime in Boulder Thursday night.
ASU started strong, opening up an 18-7 lead over the first seven minutes of play, giving the impression the team had figured things out since its loss in Tucson.
Senior guard Tra Holder paced ASU with 14 first half points, one of just four Sun Devils to score a point in the first 20 minutes.
But eight Buffaloes scored, led by senior guard George King’s eight points, and the home team kept within arm’s length for the rest of the half, going into the locker rooms down just five, at 34-29.
With confidence coming back to the floor, Colorado began to make its move.
The Buffaloes cut the lead to one point early, but ASU got its cushion back briefly toward the middle of the second half. Then, the Sun Devils got cold and the Buffaloes got hot.
A 13-2 run took the Buffaloes from down eight points with 10:46 remaining to up three points with 8:02 on the clock, forcing the Sun Devils to call timeout, but it appeared to be too late, as Colorado had all the momentum.
In the final minute, though, ASU came alive.
The Sun Devils outscored the Buffaloes 7-1 in the final 69 seconds of regulation, including a dunk by sophomore forward Mickey Mitchell to tie the game at 74 with just six seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, though, it was all Colorado.
The Buffaloes outscored ASU 16-7 in the extra five minutes, holding off another late push by the visitors to seize their first conference win of the season.
The Sun Devils will attempt to save their roadtrip against Utah at the Huntsman Center, a place ASU has not won since the Utes joined the conference in