Late push falls short as Sun Devils edge past Utes in 63-61 loss

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Perovo SALT LAKE CITY — Two halves inform a full recreation story. And whereas the primary half was a back-and-forth battle, the second half, and arguably crucial half, was largely all Arizona State Saturday evening on the Huntsman Middle.

Arizona State capitalized on a five-minute scoring drought by Utah to go on a 9-0 run (11-1 run in totality) halfway by means of the second half, and the remainder was historical past … or so the Solar Devils thought.

Utah erased a 14-point deficit to tie the sport up 59-all on a Branden Carlson 3-pointer on the prime of the important thing with 1:04 left within the recreation. After a pair of made free throws by Arizona State on the following possession, Carlson discovered Marco Anthony alone below the rim for a dunk to tie it up once more with 28 seconds left in regulation.

Utah utilized a full-court press within the ultimate minutes to place stress on the Solar Devils, which grew to become an efficient technique to restrict Arizona State’s capability to get attractiveness on the opposite finish. However a blown protection by the Utes on the opposite finish of the ground allowed for Arizona State’s Marreon Jackson to interrupt free for a simple layup to and a 2-point lead with six second remaining.

Craig Smith’s staff elected to let the sport play out as a substitute of taking their ultimate timeout and Rollie Worster missed a 15-foot jumper on the baseline because the clock expired to seal a 63-61 victory for the visiting Solar Devils.

“While you name a timeout, you permit them to arrange their protection; and particularly towards Arizona State the place they’ll — they’re so fast and athletic, I simply thought it will be very tough to get one thing clear that method,” Smith mentioned.

“Extremely happy with our comeback and the way we dealt with that and gave ourselves an opportunity to win,” he added. “However to win on this league, you’ve got simply received to be far more sound for 40 minutes, and I did not suppose we we did that constantly for the primary half-hour of the sport.”

Utah (11-18, 4-15 Pac-12) made a late push to chop right into a 14-point deficit halfway by means of the second half and went on a 7-0 run that received these in attendance believing in a comeback, however Arizona State’s Jay Heath had different plans. The sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer out of a timeout to finish the short-lived run after which hit one other on a following possession to cease any momentum Utah hoped to realize.

The Washington D.C. native completed the evening with a team-high 20 factors, however his play to neutralize Utah’s momentum was a large enough distinction to sway the sport’s consequence, particularly as Utah struggled to place collectively a constant stretch on offense and protection for the center 20 minutes of the sport.

“In a recreation the place the emphasis is attacking and getting it inside, we actually did not do this,” Smith mentioned, talking particularly a couple of seemingly lackadaisical first half. “We took the simple method out and solely shot one free throw and had zero offensive boards, in order that’s an actual dangerous system to have success.”

“I simply do not suppose we got here as able to play as we must always have, particularly for this recreation,” Anthony added. ” … We all know that we might play a lot better than that. And I really feel like that confirmed in that final run we sort of made. And in the end it did not find yourself with the W, but when there’s something constructive to have a look at from the sport, it is that half.”

Arizona State’s Jalen Graham added 15 factors, 4 rebounds and two assists, and Kimani Lawrence and Luther Muhammad added 10 factors apiece within the win. Muhammad discovered himself on the dropping finish of a lethal transfer by Utah’s Lazar Stefanovic that left the Arizona State participant on the bottom as Stefanovic drained the all of a sudden open 3-point look.

Anthony began the sport with the recent hand and scored 11 of the staff’s first 20 factors and was an enormous contributing issue to Utah retaining it shut with Arizona State within the first half as the remainder of the staff mixed for 21 factors.

The senior guard remained engaged within the second half and was key to Utah’s late run. He completed with a team-high 19 factors and 4 rebounds. He was joined by Carlson’s 15 factors and 6 rebounds as the one two gamers in double figures for the Utes.

“We had been simply sort of everywhere in the map with a number of various things tonight,” Smith mentioned. “I believed early within the recreation Marco actually carried us, received us off to an ideal begin on the offensive finish.

“I believed we actually settled within the first half for simple pictures, fast pictures — particularly after Marco sort of stopped semi-stopped scoring. Simply did not suppose we performed in assault mode on both finish of the ground, fairly frankly.”

The Utes have per week off earlier than the common season finale on the Huntsman Middle on Saturday, March 5 (7:30 p.m. MST, ESPNU) towards the visiting Colorado Buffaloes, who upset No. 2 Arizona Saturday evening. Arizona was one of many six prime groups ranked within the Related Press Prime 25 to drop a recreation Saturday.

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On emotional night, Utah State falls to Colorado State as it honors seniors

Utah State Aggies head coach Ryan Odom reacts to a name throughout the second half of an NCAA school basketball recreation in opposition to Colorado State Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Fort Collins, Colo. Colorado State beat Utah State 77-72. (Jack Dempsey, Related Press)

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LOGAN — Feelings ran excessive inside for the Utah State basketball crew contained in the Spectrum Saturday night time.

Within the last house recreation of the common season, 4 seniors had been honored earlier than the sport. Justin Bean, Brandon Horvath, Brock Miller and RJ Etyle-Rock walked to heart court docket with their households and gave a quick speech to the group.

The highlight was additionally on sophomore guard Max Shulga, who’s from Kyiv, Ukraine.

To assist his household and nation throughout the ongoing Russian invasion, Shulga draped a Ukrainian flag over himself earlier than the sport. When he checked into the sport, Utah State students held up blue and yellow papers resembling the Ukrainian flag — a number of Aggies gamers wore yellow and blue shoelaces, as effectively.

The feelings had been proven on the court docket because the Aggies performed considered one of their most intense video games of the season in entrance of 9,219 rowdy followers. However it did not translate into effectivity — Utah State shot simply 33% (6 of 18) from the free-throw line, 41.2% from the sector and 28.6% from 3-point vary.

The offensive struggles had been an excessive amount of to beat and Utah State fell to Colorado State 66-55.

“Enjoyable begin to the night time honoring these 4 guys,” Utah State head coach Ryan Odom stated. “It was nice to see their households on the market and all of our Aggie followers supporting them. That was a neat second to listen to these guys speak about their expertise.

“Tough night time for us, just about all-around. … For us, we will not go 6 for 18 from the free-throw line and count on to beat a superb crew; it is simply so simple as that.”

Regardless of the poor offensive numbers, a uncommon alternative for a Quad 1 win at house was alive and effectively into the second half. The Aggies had been enjoying super protection and led 41-37 with 10 minutes left within the recreation.

Then Colorado State flexed its muscle.

Tthe Rams switched right into a zone protection and disrupted the Aggies’ capability to assault the basket. On the opposite finish of the ground, Kendle Moore hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 49-41 lead with 6:49 left to play — finishing a 12-0 run by the Rams.

The Aggies clawed again as Etyle-Rock hit a nook 3-pointer to chop the deficit to 2 with 2:52 to play. However switching defenses from man to zone did not decelerate the Rams.

Moore hit a deep 3-pointer with simply over two minutes to play, and Colorado State closed the sport on a 14-5 run to beat the Utah State. Moore completed with a game-high 23 factors and tallied 18 of these factors within the second half. His shock efficiency, together with Utah State’s offensive woes, was an excessive amount of to deal with for the Aggies.

“He stepped up tonight, he shot lights out, to be sincere,” Etyle-Rock stated. “We did not know he was going to shoot like that. We might have guarded him a lot better. We tried to change up our protection within the second half to enter one thing totally different however we simply stored dropping him.”

Etyle-Rock, and the three different seniors, all made a concerted effort in what often is the last recreation within the Spectrum for every of them.

Etyle-Rock completed with a team-high 14 factors, Horvath had 11 factors, Bean had 10 factors and Miller added 3 factors. The seniors struggled to get nice seems, and Bean was simply 4 of 11 from the sector and Miller was 1 of 5; Horvath went 3 of 10 from the free-throw line.

However the emotional depth wasn’t missing.

Trailing 25-13 with 5:51 left within the first half, capturing beneath 30% from the sector, Utah State turned it on. The Aggies compelled Colorado State star David Roddy to show over the ball and Bean completed with a dunk on the opposite finish. After getting one other cease, Horvath had a poster dunk over Colorado State’s Isaiah Rivera to chop the deficit to 25-17.

On the opposite finish, Roddy tried to cease the run with a dunk of his personal. Standing in his approach was Bean, who rose up and blocked the ball away from the ring — an amazing play that electrified the sector.

“When he will get any window he is going up with it, so I simply tried to fulfill up on the rim,” Bean stated. “Fortunately, he was in a position to make a superb play and received some momentum for the crew and myself.”

The momentum of the play appeared to hold over into the second half. Trailing by 6 factors, Utah State opened the half one 6-0 run, due to a Miller 3-pointer and an and-one layup from Etyle-Rock.

“Our protection form of helped us and allowed us to, going into halftime, have just a little little bit of momentum,” Odom stated.

Finally, the efficiency of Moore and the expertise of the Rams overruled the momentum.

“Apart from (dropping), it was undoubtedly a particular night time right here,” Etyle-Rock stated. “The followers had been nice. I used to be glad my mother was right here. That was a really particular second. All the fellows had been pleased to have fun us seniors. It was very particular.”

Bean added that it was additionally an ideal alternative to spotlight Shulga, who performed for eight minutes and recorded a layup, as he watches what goes on in his native nation.

“Max is an unbelievable particular person,” Bean stated. “His household, clearly, he is pondering of them. He is form of updating us on how they’re doing and he is extra optimistic than others would suppose with what he is going by way of. … I assumed everybody tonight supporting him and praying for the nation — it was simply cool to see that collective unity from the town and the group.”

Utah State (16-14, 7-10) closes out the common season at San Jose State Friday earlier than the Mountain West Event in Las Vegas the week after.

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