Pac-12 madness is officially back.
ASU (7-1, 1-0 Pac-12) beat Colorado (4-4, 0-1 Pac-12) 60-59 in epic fashion with a late second-half comeback on the back of a Desmond Cambridge Jr. three pointer to steal one away in Boulder.
ASU and Colorado were in a stalemate for the final two minutes of play at 59-57. The Sun Devils were down 12 points with six minutes to go in the second half after starting 0-for-13 from three point range.
The absence of Frankie Collins in this game was certainly apparent in the first half of the game.
However, slowly but surely, the Cambridge brothers brought the Sun Devils back into striking distance with some electric dunks, big time threes and relentless effort on the defensive end. Bobby Hurley’s squad needed that effort after the dominant performance by the Buffalo defense in the first 20 minutes.
In the waning minutes, Warren Washington put one in from the interior followed by Alonso Gaffney hitting a three to close the deficit to under 10, still trailing 56-49. Including those two buckets, ASU would proceed to go on a 13-0 run for the next three minutes to take the lead thanks to back-to-back threes by Desmond and Devan Cambridge, respectively.
The struggle from deep is what put the Sun Devils in that hole in the first place, so the response from the Maroon and Gold was extremely encouraging to witness on the road in the first conference matchup of the season.
The defense down the stretch is what gave ASU a chance to make such a terrific comeback, like forcing a shot clock violation with 30 seconds left or Desmond Cambridge Jr.’s steal in the full court press.
The ladder may not have turned into immediate points, but the following sequence in which Colorado’s KJ Simpson missed the one-and-one put ASU in a position to control the outcome of the game with one last shot.
Off a Devan Cambridge rebound, DJ Horne stormed up the left side of the court, drove to the rim, quickly snapped his head around to thread a pass to the wing waiting for Desmond Cambridge Jr. Horne drew a crowd under the basket, so Cambridge Jr. was alone on an island with one thing left to do.
And then, nothing but nylon.
With two seconds remaining, after combining for only 4-25 from downtown, the Sun Devils watched a long ball fall through the net to take a one point lead. Colorado couldn’t get the final prayer to go, and ASU players, fans and coaches alike exhaled with an amazing win in Boulder.
Devan Cambridge was by far the most consistent shooter tonight for the Sun Devils, going 7-for-12 from the field and 3-for-3 on free throws finishing with 18 points. Horne, Nunez and Cambridge Jr. combined for eight steals on the opposite end aiding in the comeback effort.
Tonight is the largest Sun Devil halftime deficit comeback in a road game since ... damn ... February of 1994. pic.twitter.com/9sACjpkTYX— Doug Tammaro (@DougTammaro) December 2, 2022
It wasn’t the prettiest box score at the end of the day, but those types of wins are massive for a team who’s trying to get some national footing in the early parts of the season. When the three ball is falling, there’s no telling who this team can go up against.
Stanford is next on the schedule in Tempe, Sunday at 5 PM MST on ESPN2. The 2022 Sun Devils are becoming must-watch TV very quickly, and it’s only December.
We’ll see if this train keeps on rolling in a few days.