Junior guard Chris Colvin doesn’t even know how the ball went in, but he’s thankful it did — as well as the rest of his team.
His floater attempt as the shot clock expired while he was fouled hit nothing but net.
The 3-point play with 19 seconds left in the game propelled the ASU men’s basketball team over USC, 56–52.
It’s the sixth time the Sun Devils (9-20, 5-12 Pac-12) have swept the Trojans (6-23, 1-15 Pac-12), but it’s the first sweep since the 1994-95 season.
“I just threw it up on the rim,” Colvin said. “Hopefully our bigs would go get it. I know they’re talented enough to go get it on the rim.”
During that possession, coach Herb Sendek called a timeout with 10 seconds left on the shot clock.
Sendek said the design was to set a ball screen for Colvin. Sophomore Jordan Bachynski drew enough contact on the screen to give Colvin the ability to drive in the paint.
Colvin threw up the one-handed shot as he was fouled by junior center James Blasczyk.
Before the shot, Colvin had five points, five assists and six turnovers to his name. ASU last scored on junior guard Trent Lockett’s layup with 7:45 left in the game.
After Colvin made the miraculous attempt, Wells Fargo Arena erupted for the team’s final three points in the game, which sealed the victory.
“That’s the reality of coaching and sports,” Sendek said. “We were fortunate that went in. He made a great shot. … And just as significantly, he made the free throw, because it’s a big difference being up four in that situation as opposed to three.”
With his mom and dad in attendance, Bachynski led ASU with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Sun Devils fed him the ball early in the game. He took the first four shots, making three. Half of the team’s points came in the paint.
“Anyone could’ve scored with the passes (the guards and forwards) were giving to me,” Bachynski said. “They placed the ball in the perfect spot where I was able to be effective.”
Despite a poor shooting performance in the second half, ASU managed to shoot 46.2 percent in the game. USC’s second half was even worse from the field. The Trojans shot 33.3 percent in the final half and were held without a field goal during the last 11:16 of the game. They scored just five points off of free throws in that span.
USC freshman guard Byron Wesley had a game high of 22 points and added seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones had 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.
Both players missed 3-point attempts following Colvin’s shot with 19 seconds remaining in the game.
“A part of it is USC missed some shots too,” Sendek said. “It’s not like it was entirely us, but it was overall a good defensive effort during that stretch.”
Felix still out
Junior guard Carrick Felix missed his second straight game due to a virus. He was not with the team last week, but Sendek said he’s getting better. With the team taking Sunday off, Sendek hopes Felix can return Monday in preparation for the season finale against in-state rival UA on Mar. 4.
“Even that won’t be easy,” Sendek said. “Those of us that have been in the bed for that long — I think we all probably at one time or another are — you show up for the first day to work or school (and) it takes a while to go again. Hopefully he’ll be able to do that for us.”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org