Sun Devils Fall at Buzzer on Three-Quarter Court Shot, 66-65
The Sun Devils' men's basketball team lost at the buzzer against UC Riverside after JP Moorman II nailed a three-quarter court shot in front of the ASU bench to give the Highlanders a 66-65 victory.
In a chaotic finale, ASU had the ball with 14 seconds to go after a good defensive effort, contesting a three-pointer and getting the ball when the rebound went out-of-bounds. Luther Muhammad, who ended the game with 11 points, embraced the responsibility and scored a midrange floater with 1.7 left, making the home crowd roar.
The referees stopped the clock and the game as UC Riverside had no timeouts, but time remained at 1.7 on the possession after taking a look at the game clock. Another pass went out of bounds after ASU tipped it, but the officials nullified the play due with a timing situation in question.
Then, the Highlanders inbounded the ball to Moorman, who heaved in a 60-footer right in front of the ASU bench.
After a tough first half, in which UC Riverside never lost the lead thanks to an impressive 10-for-20 from beyond-the-arc, the Sun Devils came off the locker room on a much better note. Kimani Lawrence, who for the second game in a row led the Sun Devils' scoring, gave ASU its biggest lead of the game with five straight points and 12 minutes remaining.
Lawrence also starred in the best ASU play, when Alonzo Gaffney got one of his four blocks and allowed Lawrence to score a great dunk in transition.
However, the Sun Devils could not increase their lead from those five points, which allowed the Highlanders to come close and after Moorman sinked a 3-pointer, UCR regained the lead with 2:23 to go. That started a back-and-forth trend which resulted in the buzzer beater.
For ASU, the best player was Kimani Lawrence, who wrapped up 19 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. The other Sun Devils in double digits were Marcus Bagley with 18 (5-for-11 from the field and 3-for-4 from three) and Luther Muhammad with 11 (5-for-12).
"I've seen what everyone in the locker room can do." Bagley said. "We know we can do it together, we have to be more consistent with it and I'm not worried about the guard play, I know that they will pick it up so it's all about coming in and leaving it all out on the court, and we'll live with the results. We just have to be better."
The ASU men's hoops team will be back for a third straight time at Desert Financial Arena next Monday (Nov. 15), when they will host the North Florida Ospreys at 7 p.m.
Head Coach Bobby Hurley
"Well, we had a repeat performance on offense in the first half and really from the other night and the defense still wasn't as good as it was in our last game in the first half to just keep us in it better. They had a bunch of three's and we didn't do a good job guarding the three point line and didn't do that consistently. I thought we deserved to lose, I told the guys that. We got away with some things and Luther (Muhammad) hit a big shot and some other guys did some decent things but overall we were outplayed. The one downside is that they got three chances to do that last play that they did score on which is a little bit disappointing. We deflected the first one which would have effectively ended the game. Gaffney (Alonzo) got a tip on it and then they threw it off the kids hands and it went out of bounds but we didn't get the clock organized so they kept resetting the game and there you have it. Tough way to lose, guys are very disappointed but I just thought they played better overall."
On the three point shooting in the first half
"They play a unique style with their big and he can move away. They were cutting harder than us. I think getting those dribble handoffs and then we were forced to help and then they were spraying the ball around and so we were not locked in defensively in the way we needed to be to set the tone. I watched their game with San Diego State and they were down four with five minutes left and I knew were a good team, I knew it was going to be a tough game, I knew we wanted to get off to a good start because there were a bunch of possessions, they went inside in the 10 seconds and shot clock in the second half but in a close game you can't impose your tempo and you can't force them to play faster. They were in a tight game with us and we didn't do our job early in the game and that's what led to the result."
On guard play on offense
"Everyone's got to look in the mirror after this and the numbers are saying what they're saying . Watching these guys through the summer and what their track record has been and what they did in the pre-season games, it's not carrying over right now to the games we're playing. We did not get great production from our point guard position tonight."
Arizona State Sophomore Forward Marcus Bagley
On message to team after loss
"It shouldn't have came down to that last play, we were flat the entire game. We allowed ten-threes in the first half and that was one of our focal points coming into the game was to run them off the three-point line. Energy was flat and we deserved to lose tonight."
On lack of urgency
"Not talking, no communication, not making the right rotations including from me, we have got to be better, both games, we have to be better all around. But We're learn from it and we'll come back with the right attitude on practice Saturday, and get ready for Monday."
On how frustrating the start of the season has been
"Coach told us that exhibition games don't mean nothing, we got to win when the lights come on, and we have to forget about preseason and forget about how well we played, watch film get together and fix it."
On going for the steal toward the end of the game
"Stupidest play of my career, I don't know what I was thinking, I should've let him catch it and get a hand up to contest the shot, it was just instinct to go for the ball and I thought I had the angle on it. I'll learn from it now."
- Marcus Bagley finished with 18 points, making it the ninth time he has reached double figures in the 12 games he has finished as a Sun Devil.
- ASU held the Highlanders to only 16 points in the paint, their lowest output since a loss to Air Force on Dec. 31, 2019 (eight points). The Sun Devils boasted a 28-16 advantage in this category.
- Another productive game from Kimani Lawrence, who finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
- Kimani Lawrence has reached double figures scoring in nine of his last 11 games after accomplishing the feat in only nine of his previous 58 games.
- It matched the fourth-highest scoring game of his career, as he continues the incredible start to his final season in Tempe.
- He recorded the fourth double-double of his career, all coming over his last nine games.
- After hitting 10 three-point field goals in the first half, the Sun Devils held the Highlanders to only four in the second half.
- Alonzo Gaffney protected the rim all night, blocking four shots.
- Enoch Boakye has 12 rebounds in the 28 minutes he has played this season.