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Sun Devil Hoops falls at Oregon State in final seconds, 80-79

Jan 16, 2021

PDF GAME BOOK: AT OREGON STATE 80, ASU 79, JAN. 16, 2021 | 2020-21 Sun Devil Men's Basketball Recaps | PDF: Every Sun Devil Box Score from 2020-21 Season | PDF: Full Arizona State Stats (4-6; 1-3) | Boxscore

By Brandon Jones, ASU Cronkite School Class of 2021

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Despite a 50-percent shooting effort and a season-high 22 assists and the second-fewest turnover (four) in the past 25 seasons, the Sun Devil men's basketball team was edged by Oregon State after the Beavers scored in the final seconds to come away with a 80-79 win.
 
Although they trailed for much of the game, the Sun Devils (4-6, 1-3 Pac-12) were in position to capture a road win after forward Marcus Bagley made a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left that put ASU ahead 79-78. The Beavers (6-5, 2-3) reclaimed the lead with 4.1 seconds remaining and secured the win after Remy Martin's shot at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
 
"We battled hard, fought hard, made a lot of winning plays down the stretch," ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. "They made their free throws late, [Oregon State guard Ethan] Thompson made a great pass and play [at the end of the game]. If there was something I could have done differently, [calling] a timeout after we hit that three-pointer to set our defense and make sure we're matched up properly on that last possession.
 
"Outside of that I can't be disappointed with our team. I knew following their loss the other night they would be a different team tonight in terms of being ready to play after their pause last week. We did some nice things out there tonight, our assist to turnover ratio was maybe the best we've had since I've been here with 22 assists and only four turnovers. It was pretty good stuff so overall I was pretty happy even though it was not the result that we wanted."
 
Bagley led the way for the Sun Devils with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting, while freshman guard Josh Christopher added 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Remy Martin added 14 points. Although he struggled from beyond the arc (0-8), Martin made all eight of his free throws and was a great facilitator, recording eight assists and zero turnovers.
 
"I don't expect Remy to go 0-for-8 from three, that's not what he's been over his whole career, but he did some really good things down the stretch with some clutch free throws and eight assists with no turnovers," Hurley said. "It's hard to knock his performance, he had some really good steals down the stretch that reignited our energy in the second half. We need to do that a little better, I mentioned that to the team and not necessarily that that cost us the game. Overall if you look at our last three games, our opponent has made three or four more threes than we have and our numbers aren't reflective of our ability to shoot it, so we have to do a better job of connecting from three."
 
Senior guard Alonzo Verge Jr. was also a great facilitator for the Sun Devils as he dished out a career-high eight assists with only two turnovers. The Sun Devils did a phenomenal job taking care of the ball with 22 assists on 28 baskets to go with only four turnovers. 
 
Verge Jr. explained how he and his teammates were able to take care of the ball on offense and how they need to look at Saturday's result.
 
"I just knew that defense was going to focus on me and keep their eyes on me and Remy," Verge said. "I [saw] their defense was playing pretty high up, and I [saw] the backline was pretty open [often], so I just communicated to those guys to [cut] backdoor and it was pretty much open [most of the time].
 
"We got a special group of guys. It's just about bringing it all together and I think tonight was our first step of doing it."
 
Rebounding and 3-point shooting turned out to be the difference as the Beavers outrebounded ASU 35-27 and shot 43 percent from beyond the arc compared to a 24 percent for the Sun Devils.
 
The game was competitive throughout with 17 ties and 20 lead changes and neither team led by more than seven points. The Sun Devils shot 57 percent in the second half. Both squads – ASU(18-23), OSU (21-27) – shot 78 percent from the line with the Beavers outscoring ASU 14-9 from the charity stripe in the second half.

The Sun Devils return to action on Thursday (7 p.m.) when they host Arizona in a Territorial Cup series matchup on ESPN.

QUICK NOTE: ASU's four turnovers at Oregon State tied for the second-fewest by a Sun Devil squad in the past 25 seasons.

SUN DEVIL FEWEST TURNOVERS (1996-97 TO PRESENT)
3, vs. Colorado at Pac-12 Tournament (Las Vegas)/Mar. 7, 2018
4 at Oregon State/Jan. 16, 2021
4 at Washington State/Jan. 31, 2013
4 vs. USC, Feb. 15, 2009 

QUOTES
BOBBY OPENING STATEMENT
"We battled hard, fought hard, made a lot of winning plays down the stretch. They made their free throws late, Thompson [Oregon State] made a great pass and play. If there was something I could have done differently was maybe get a timeout after we hit that three to set our defense and make sure we're matched up properly on that last possession. Outside of that I can't be disappointed with our team, I knew following their loss the other night they would be a different team tonight in terms of being ready to play after their pause last week. We did some nice things out there tonight, our assist to turnover ratio was maybe the best we've had since I've been here with 22 assists and only four turnovers. It was pretty good stuff so overall I was pretty happy even though it was not the result that we wanted."
 
ON MISSED TIMEOUT LATE IN THE GAME
"When the ball was inbounded to Thompson, I told Holland that I wanted him to support Marcus who was on Thompson. We made that switch and I thought it was beneficial throughout the second half; Thompson was posting us a lot. We went to Marcus and he kind of negated that in the second half but knowing the player he's been, we just wanted to see the ball out of his hands and someone else beat us. I'm going to have to look at the play again to see where our other three defenders were, and we didn't protect the lane properly. That's why in those scramble situations and you don't call timeout it works in your favor. We had games last year where it played out that way and tonight it didn't work in our favor."
 
ON THREE POINT PERFORMANCE
"I don't expect Remy to go 0 – 8 from three, that's not what he's been over his whole career, but he did some really good things down the stretch with some clutch free throws and eight assists with no turnovers. It's hard to knock his performance, he had some really good steals down the stretch that reignited our energy in the second half. We need to do that a little better, I mentioned that to the team and not necessarily that that cost us the game. Overall if you look at our last three games our opponent has made three or four more threes than we have and our numbers aren't reflective of our ability to shoot it, so we have to do a better job of connecting from three."
 
ON LOSS DESPITE OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE
"It came down to a lot of little things, we can't foul a three-point shooter. He had a really good game going but you can't give away three points at the free throw line. There are a bunch of other reasons we didn't get the victory; I think the rebounding component bothered us in patches. I thought one time in the second time in the second half where Oregon State ran every under out of bounds plays that they had in their playbook because we couldn't get the rebounds and it kept going out of bounds. It was like a segment in our practice where we're trying to execute under out of bounds, so we have to keep working on it and addressing it and hopefully we can get Jalen Graham back next week to get more of a presence inside to free up the guards a little more so they can be who they are."