Game-Tying Shot Proves Fatal for No. 21 Sun Devils in OT Loss Against Utah

By T.J Mathewson // Men’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports

TEMPE, Ariz – Ice was in the veins of the Utah Utes (13-7(5-4 PAC-12)) Thursday as they pulled out a close 80-77 win over No. 21 ranked ASU (15-5(3-5 PAC-12)).

Utes’ junior guard Cedrick Barefield nailed a clutch three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 69, this coming after what was thought-to-be game-sealing layup by ASU senior guard Shannon Evans II to put the Sun Devils up three.

Arizona State forward De’Quon Lake throws down a dunk against Utah // (Photo: John Mendoza / Blaze Sports)

“I thought the way we handled the late-game and regulation (time) was very good,” ASU coach Bobby Hurley said after the game. “We just weren’t up enough to push them off the (3-point line) in that situation.”

“I really wish we had a timeout.”

Fortunately for the Utes, the game-tying sequence at the end of regulation went on, with Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak signaling for a timeout — he was not seen by the officials — as Barefield dribbled the ball up the court to drill the game-tying three.

“There is a God,” Krystkowiak said on the missed timeout.

Combined, the two teams started the overtime period 7-7 from the field. That last shot, coincidently a Barefield three-pointer, put the game away for the Utes.

“We’re fine. A lot of people think this is the end of the world because we lost this game,” freshman guard Remy Martin said after the game. “We are going to fix this, trust me.”

“We just couldn’t get stops in overtime, our offense was scoring just to keep us in.”

ASU got out to a hot start in the first half, riding efficient shooting and turnover-free basketball to a 19-12 lead at the 11:53 mark in the first half.

Utah then preceded to end the half on a 28-14 run, taking a 40-33 lead into half, behind the reigning PAC-12 Player of The Week Justin Bibbins’ 12 first-half points.

Bibbins finished 15 points, all coming on 3-pointers on 5-10 shooting from behind the arc, and six assists before fouling out late in the second half.

ASU trailed by as many as 10 in the second half and looked sluggish for much of the first nine minutes out of the break.

Enter Remy Martin.

The freshman guard went on a personal 10-0 run, followed by a Shannon Evans three, to give ASU a 60-55 with just under seven minutes left. That run taking a grand total of 2:54 of game time.

“I just let the game come to me, I know the first half I didn’t do well as I needed to. I felt like I needed to be more aggressive,” Martin said. “Coach allowed me to go out there and make plays. But it doesn’t matter because we didn’t get the win tonight.”

The Tra Holder of non-conference play may have surfaced out of his slump Thursday, as he tallied an impressive stat line, 23 points on 7-16 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists.

It wasn’t the same story for the other two senior guards, Evans and Kodi Justice, who combined for only 22 points on 8-26 shooting.

After starting the game hitting 7-10 shots, ASU finished the night shooting only 40% from the field and 37% from three.

ASU gets a chance to split this weekends home series when Colorado visits Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday.

TJ Mathewson is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Men’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at tjm5518@gmail.com or follow TJ on Twitter @TJMathewson.

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