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Sun Devils Can't Overcome 41-9 Free Throw Attempt Differential; Fall at Stanford, 79-76

Jan 22, 2022

The Sun Devils men's hoops team fell short on a comeback despite a great defensive effort displayed in the second half along with some hot shooting.

Although Jalen Graham scored in the paint with seven seconds left to tie the game at 76, Cardinal Brandon Angel received a foul while shooting from behind-the-arc, and he made three free throws to give Stanford the 79-76 win.

After trailing by 15 points, five steals with a good effort on the glass led ASU to a 11-0 run that cut the difference to to 56-52. The Sun Devils saw their efforts paying off, as they finished the game with 20 points off turnovers.

Jalen Graham was fantastic in the second half, as he gave ASU's first lead since the 24-22 in the first. He finished with 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

However, one of the key aspects for the Sun Devils in the loss was the foul trouble.

With still 10 minutes left in the game, both guards Marreon Jackson and DJ Horne had four fouls, and in the last couple of minutes, Kimani Lawrence and Alonzo Gaffney were sent off with five.

Those many fouls allowed Stanford to shoot 41 free throws, while ASU could shot nine, and was a big factor in the last plays of the game, as it was decided from the free throw line. 

+35, Colorado at Washington State (Jan. 8, 2014), 38-3
+32, Stanford vs. Arizona State (Jan. 22, 2022), 41-9
+32, Arizona vs. Arizona State (Jan. 25, 2021), 43-11

Another big factor in the second half for the Sun Devils comeback happened in the three-point line. In the first, ASU allowed seven threes by Stanford on .700 shooting, while Bobby Hurley's squad could only connect three. However, in the second, ASU forced the Cardinal to go 2-for-9 from behind-the-line.

The Sun Devils' top scorer was DJ Horne, who tallied 18 points with four three-pointers.

ASU had other three players in double figures, with Graham scoring 16, Marreon Jackson 12 and Jay Heath 11.

ASU had 36 points off the bench, which helped when some of the starters got in foul trouble.

The Sun Devils men's hoops team will face USC next Monday (Jan. 24) at the Galen Center at 8 p.m. PT on ESPN2, with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on the call.