It didn’t take long for ASU men’s basketball to come back down to earth.
Five days after the Sun Devils (19-7, 8-5 Pac-12) upset then-No. 2 UA at home, they failed to follow it up and lost at Colorado, 61-52, Wednesday, snapping ASU’s three-game winning streak.
Unlike the first meeting in Tempe on Jan. 25, ASU lost the rebounding battle 48-27 to Colorado (20-7, 9-5 Pac-12) and gave up 15 offensive rebounds. One of the biggest reasons why the Sun Devils blew out the Buffaloes the first game was because ASU controlled the paint and outrebounded Colorado 36-31.
ASU battled through foul trouble much throughout the game, which hindered its rebounding ability. Senior center Jordan Bachynski and sophomore center Eric Jacobsen only played 13 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively, in the first half and both finished the game with four fouls.
The Sun Devils also shot just 31.5 percent from the field, which was the lowest they shot all season. Just like Friday’s game against UA, ASU had trouble establishing a consistent flow on offense and couldn’t capitalize on open looks.
Despite its shooting and rebounding woes, ASU still kept it a close game and held Colorado to just 37 percent from the field. There were 13 lead changes in the first half as neither team was able to pull away with a run, allowing ASU to go into halftime looking at a 27-26 deficit.
The Sun Devils started the second half by scoring the first six points, but the Buffaloes responded with a 13-4 run that gave the Buffaloes a nine-point advantage with 6:55 left in the game.
ASU junior forward Jonathan Gilling came alive and drilled three straight 3-pointers that brought the Sun Devils within two points with 3:31 left, but ASU shot too poorly to keep up the rest of the game.
Redshirt sophomore point guard Jahii Carson carried the scoring load for the Sun Devils with 18 points, but he also had five turnovers to his one assist. ASU had a quiet game from senior guard Jermaine Marshall, who only had seven points of 3-of-13 shooting and went just 1-of-8 from the 3-point line.
While the Sun Devils’ usual standouts struggled, they had a nice turnout from redshirt junior guard Bo Barnes and senior guard Shaquielle McKissic, who both gave what seemed to be ASU’s only source of energy the entire game. McKissic had a team-high nine rebounds while Barnes chipped in five points off the bench.
Colorado sophomore forward Josh Scott had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Askia Booker scored 18 points and pulled down eight boards.
A loss to Colorado, which has an RPI of 26, didn’t put ASU’s NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy, but a win over the Buffaloes would’ve cemented the Sun Devils’ chances.
ASU doesn’t play again until it heads to Utah on Sunday. The Sun Devils plan to stay on the road for the next three days to train in high elevation.
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