Oregon surges past Arizona State in critical Pac-12 showdown
When the Arizona State Sun Devils played Oregon in Eugene they scored 90 points, one less than their season high. They shot 58% from the field and cruised from start to finish in what was their best performance of the season.
It wasn't that easy this time. In fact it was the Ducks coming away with a 75-70 victory in Pac-12 play Saturday night at Desert Financial Arena in a game crucial to the postseason hopes of each.
Turnovers and foul trouble proved pivotal as ASU committed 14 turnovers, with Oregon (14-10, 8-5) scoring 22 points off those turnovers. Oregon had 17, leading to 21 ASU points, many of those coming late when ASU (16-8, 7-6) turned up the pressure and was trying to rally back from a 12-point deficit.
More critical were fouls. ASU was called for 24 in the contest, Oregon 13. The Ducks benefited going 18-for-26 from the line while ASU was 8-for-10. The Ducks were in the double bonus with 11:31 still left in the game and Oregon up 49-40. Two starters, Warren Washington and Devan Cambridge were saddled with four fouls each, with Washington eventually fouling out.
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Those issues led to coach Bobby Hurley having some different combinations on the floor in crunch time.
Oregon shot 47% (25-for-53) for the game but was 13-for-22 (59.1%) in the second half. The Ducks also finished with a 37-31 advantage on the boards.
ASU shot 44% (27-for-61). It led at the half 30-27 but struggled in the first eight minutes of the second and found itself facing its biggest deficit down 12, 52-40 with 11:31 left after Oregon made three of four throws from the line after a personal foul call and a technical assessed to Hurley.
"It was a battle, two teams pretty desperate to win," ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. The first eight minutes of the second half cost us. They built a lead and we couldn't overcome it and take the lead back even though guys out there were fighting like heck and scrambling and trying to make plays."
The Sun Devils were within one point at 71-70 with 1:12 left after a dunk by Washington.
ASU forced a turnover and had a shot at the go-ahead bucket with Luther Muhammed misfiring on a 3-pointer from the corner with 40 seconds left.
The Sun Devils had another try, this time down 72-60 but a 3-pointer from the corner by D.J. Horne was also off the mark and Oregon's Jermaine Cousinard corralled the loose ball.
There was a third and final try, this one to tie the game as ASU trailed 73-70 with 16.4 seconds left. The Sun Devils called time out with 7.6 to go. When play resumed it was Desmond Cambridge lofting up a shot from the corner that also failed. Again Oregon grabbed the rebound with the Ducks' final points coming at the line after a foul called seconds later.
Horne had 18 points on a 7-for-17 showing from the field. It was his best output since scoring 22 against SMU on Dec. 7. He also had four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Frankie Collins had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists while Muhammad came off the bench and scored 12 in 13 minutes. It was his best game since scoring 13 against Michigan in November.
Oregon was led by 6-foot-11 senior center N'Faly Dante who had 18 points, shooting 7-for-11 from the field and getting the better of ASU counterpart Washington who was just 4-for-10 from the field. Keeshawn Barthelemy and Will Richardson chipped in with 15 and 14 respectively.
They said it
"I'm not going to make things worse for me and talk about it. It was a circus out there and I'll leave it at that. - Coach Bobby Hurley on the foul trouble and the officiating
"I think we just kind of lost focus and they came out and punched us in the mouth. We just weren't on our game." - D.J. Horne on the first eight minutes of the second half
"We got to play better as a team. We can't sit here and point the finger at the refs. We have to be better. I definitely feel we were turning the ball over too much. Against a team like Oregon you can't do that -Horne on the overall struggle
The Sun Devils go back on the road for games next weekend. They will play at Stanford (10-12, 4-7) at 8 p.m. Thursday and then go over to Cal (3-19, 2-9) for a 6 p.m. game on Saturday. It will be the first time ASU has played Cal but will be the second against the Cardinal. ASU defeated Stanford 68-64 on Dec. 4 at Desert Financial Arena.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Oregon surges past Arizona State in critical Pac-12 showdown