The Arizona State Sun Devils were swept in a weekend series for the first time all season, to a solid Oregon team and a lackluster Oregon State squad. The Sun Devils are now on a three-game losing streak and sit in 9th place in the Pac-12 conference at 7-9.
Here are some takeaways from their 79-75 loss at Oregon State.
Another blown lead
The Sun Devils opened the game on a 10-2 run before they started to see it slowly dwindle away. After the eight-point lead, they never saw themselves up by more than five and eventually lost the lead with 3:46 left in the first half. During the second half, ASU found itself down by as many as 15 points. For the remainder of the game, the Sun Devils were forced to play catch-up, in an attempt that ultimately failed, to try and win the game. ASU deserves credit where credit is due as they tied it up with just over a minute left, but it is inexcusable to be down by double digits to this Oregon State team that late in the game.
Tra is back
After going scoreless in Eugene, Tra Holder was the only mainstay in the offense against Oregon State. Holder never lost his confidence and continued to shoot and pick up the team when they struggled. On Saturday, the guard shot 7-15 including 3-6 from deep for 23 points — him and Kodi Justice (12) were the only Sun Devils in double digits.
Fouls, fouls, and more fouls
Arizona State got into foul trouble early but by the ten-minute mark, Oregon State was already in the bonus. Romello White and De’Quon Lake were both repeat offenders which left coach Bobby Hurley with no other choice but to put them on the bench. The Sun Devils also got into the bonus with six and a half minutes left in the first half, and even the commentators were displeased with the referees’ constant interruption of the game. By the end of the game, there were 48 fouls called between the two teams, including five on White, while Mickey Mitchell, Holder and Lake all picked up four.
Beavers played best game of season
After coming this close to an upset over Arizona, there’s no question Oregon State carried its momentum into Saturday’s game against the Sun Devils. All five of the Beavers’ starters recorded 12 or more points, while recording at least 25 minutes on the court and only one player on their bench had double digit minutes with 15. Overall, Oregon State shot 52.8 percent from the field while holding ASU to just 43.6%.
There is no need to concern about this team making the tournament. Sure, they will be on the bottom half of the conference bracket, but the parity in the Pac-12 this year is unlike any other. Almost any team from this conference can with the Pac-12 tournament, and ASU has good chances. Yes, they’ve been bad in conference play all year but they end the season at home against Cal, (8-21, 2-14) and Stanford, (16-13, 10-6), which are both very winnable games. he Sun Devils can carry that momentum to propel themselves to through the conference tournament and into March Madness.