Arizona State (7-11, 4-8 Pac-12) was back in action on Saturday to battle the UCLA Bruins (16-5, 12-3). After holding a double-digit lead early in the second half, the Sun Devils sloppy play led to a 80-79 loss at the last second.
Bobbly Hurley’s squad was still without star freshmen duo, Marcus Bagley and Josh Christopher. However, ASU led throughout the entire game.
The Sun Devils opened the game with a 10-0 run as Remy Martin scored the first eight points of the game. Martin continue to make his mark in the first 20 minutes, scoring 17 points, leading the team into halftime with a 41-34 lead.
ASU shot over 48 percent from the field in the first half, including a strong showing from three-point range, hitting six of nine attempts from beyond the arc. Pair that with an aggressive defensive effort, forcing nine Bruin turnovers.
The success continued into the second half, as the Sun Devils expanded their lead to 10 with 14:30 remaining. Once the clock reached under 13 minutes remaining, UCLA started to chip into the lead.
With a dominant second half performance on offense and shooting 50 percent from the field, the Bruins were able to cut the lead down four points with just over 9:30 remaining.
ASU was unable to pull away as multiple mini-runs from Mick Cronin’s team would aid them in stopping any breakaway moments for the Sun Devils.
Going into the final media timeout with just under four minutes remaining, Remy Martin and Co. hung on to a 76-70 lead. However, the Bruins would finish the game on a 10-3 run. The Sun Devils did not score in the final 2:41 of the game as well.
A pair of Tyger Campbell free throws tied the game up at 79 with 38 seconds remaining. Then with under 20 seconds on the clock, guard Holland Woods missed from deep, giving the Bruins one last possession.
In the final five seconds, Campbell missed a jumper, but an attempted putback by Jayden Clark led to a foul on Kimani Lawrence. Clark missed the first, but hit the second shot from the charity stripe to clinch an 80-79 victory.
Martin (25 Points), Verge and Lawrence (18 points each) combined for 61 of the team’s 79 points in the loss.
For the second straight season, Arizona State lost in heartbreaking fashion at the Pauley Pavilion. Last year, it was a buzzer-beater from Jaime Jaquez Jr. and this year concluded with the last second foul and free throw.
With Saturday night’s loss, Bobby Hurley’s team falls to 7-11 on the season. They will be back in action on Tuesday against the Washington Huskies at 7:00 p.m. MST at Desert Financial Arena.