ASU men's basketball gives up big first-half run in 87-72 loss at UCLA
At the start of Sunday night’s game, ASU jumped out to a 12-6 lead at UCLA and appeared to be ready to pull off a big road win.
But the Bruins (13-3, 2-1 Pac-12) quickly countered and stole the game away — literally.
Immediately following ASU’s hot start, UCLA went on a 35-9 run as the Bruins routed the Sun Devils (13-4, 2-2 Pac-12), 87-72, in the only meeting of the season between the two teams.
UCLA, which ranks second in the nation in steals with 10.8 per game, sparked its run by getting seven steals in the first half alone.
ASU’s shooting woes didn’t help, either, as the Sun Devils were 10-of-27 (37 percent) from the field. While ASU couldn’t score, UCLA freshman guard Zach Lavine erupted by hitting all three of his three-pointers, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the first half.
The Sun Devils went into halftime down, 50-33.
ASU looked slightly more energized coming out of the locker room, but redshirt sophomore point guard Jahii Carson and senior forward Shaquielle McKissic both picked up their fourth fouls within the first two minutes of the second half.
From there, the game followed the same pattern as the end of the first half as UCLA controlled the lead and had a 23-point lead. ASU slowly climbed up the deficit and got to within nine points before UCLA adjusted on both ends of the floor to prevent the Sun Devils from winning.
Carson, who usually breaks out for big individual performances on key road games, only had nine points on 4-of-17 shooting, three rebounds, two assists and four turnovers.
The game was tightly officiated, as the referees called a total of 47 fouls. Coach Herb Sendek was assessed a technical foul in the second half for disputing that the officiating favored UCLA all game. UCLA sophomore big man Tony Parker picked up a flagrant foul for elbowing ASU junior forward Jonathan Gilling minutes before Parker fouled out.
ASU senior forward Jermaine Marshall shot 5-of-8 from the 3-point line to go along with his 25 points. Senior center Jordan Bachynski had just one block and tied Arizona’s Channing Frye for second on the Pac-12 career blocks list with 258. Bachynski also finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds
ASU junior forward Brandan Kearney continued to see more time, particularly at point guard while Carson battled foul trouble. Kearney played 21 minutes and hit two 3-pointers toward his seven points.
The Sun Devils return to Arizona after their two-game Los Angeles trip and face No. 1 UA in Tucson on Thursday.
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