Sun Devils -- Tied at Half -- Fall in Tucson, 67-56
The Arizona State men's basketball team (6-12, 2-6) fell to No. 3 Arizona (17-2, 7-1) 67-56 on Saturday afternoon at the McKale Center in Tucson after playing a solid first half.
The Sun Devils came out strong in the first half as DJ Horne scored 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first twenty minutes by hitting five three-pointers. The Sun Devil defense held Arizona to just .241 shooting from the field and without a three-point field goal.
Twelve first half team fouls turned into 18 points off free throws for Arizona. Despite sending Arizona to the line 21 times in the first half, the game was tied at 32 going at the half.
The second half saw six ties and three lead changes. Arizona took its first lead of the game with a pair of free throws three minutes into the second half. From that point on, the game was back and forth, with neither team shooting the ball well from the three-point line.
Arizona was able to control the half by outscoring the Sun Devils in the paint 14-6 and getting to the free throw line 11 more times. With six minutes left in the game, the Bearcats' Pelle Larson hit a banked three-pointer to make the score 57-48 in favor of Arizona. The Sun Devils were only able to score eight after this point.
All in all, the Wildcats shot 26-of-32 (.813) from the free throw line compared to the Sun Devils 8-of-15 (.533).
DJ Horne led all scorers with 17 points. Jay Heath was the only other Sun Devils in double figures with 10. Jalen Graham had nine points and eight rebounds while Kimani Lawrence scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.
The Sun Devils' next game will be a home contest against No. 16 USC on Thursday (Feb. 3) at 9 p.m. MT on ESPN2.