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ASU men's basketball receives big second-half lift from McKissic, Barnes

ASU senior forward Shaquielle McKissic drives to the hoop at the ASU vs. Stanford basketball game at the Wells Fargo Arena on March 5, 2015. McKissic had a team leading 23 points. (Daniel Kwon/The State Press)
ASU senior forward Shaquielle McKissic drives to the hoop at the ASU vs. Stanford basketball game at the Wells Fargo Arena on March 5, 2015. McKissic had a team leading 23 points. (Daniel Kwon/The State Press)

ASU senior forward Shaquielle McKissic drives to the hoop at the ASU vs. Stanford basketball game at the Wells Fargo Arena on March 5, 2015. McKissic had a team leading 23 points. (Daniel Kwon/The State Press) ASU senior forward Shaquielle McKissic drives to the hoop at the ASU vs. Stanford basketball game at the Wells Fargo Arena on March 5, 2015. McKissic had a team leading 23 points. (Daniel Kwon/The State Press)

ASU received a big lift from two of their seniors late in the game to topple the Stanford Cardinal 67-62 on Thursday in a much-needed win heading into the Pac–12 tournament.

Senior forward Shaquielle McKissic led his team with a game-high 23 points, shouldering most of the scoring load throughout the game.

The 23 points for McKissic were just one point shy of his career-high of 24 points.

“I thought Shaq really led the way offensively for us.” Said coach Herb Sendek.

“Just to attack the hoop, it really felt good,” McKissic said. “Coach was telling me don't settle for three, even if it is open. They close out recklessly. That was the scout on them. I just had to drive the ball and jump stop and look for the open man or look for the shot.”

McKissic's big 15-point second half ignited the crowd at Wells Fargo Arena, with exciting plays to spare. On one play McKissic got hit by Stanford senior forward Anthony Brown and made an unbelievable circus shot through the contact to get the bucket and the foul. He would go on to complete the and-one.

“I kind of gambled on defense, and I knew that coach was going to be on my case, so I knew I had to run the floor hard,” McKissic said. “I was surprised Tra gave it to me. I looked at Brown and he kind of bumped me. It was a hard shove, but it was just kind of one of those things where I was lucky I guess, and the free throw was a tad bit lucky, but it got me going.”

McKissic was playing with a chip on his shoulder after the loss the team was handed when the team played Stanford earlier in the season.

“Stanford is aggressive,” McKissic said. “Just from watching the film last game I could tell just how timid I was driving the ball. We needed this win tonight, just like we need every win from here on out.”

Video by Marc Steiner | Sports Reporter

Although senior guard Bo Barnes finished with only three points, he had a crucial role in the win for the Sun Devils with his clutch late-game performance.

Barnes had a steal which started off the fast break, where he scored a layup and converted the and-one opportunity. He also had a slew of clutch free throws which ultimately secured the win for the Sun Devils.

“The last two days Bo Barnes has just been lifting everyone up,” McKissic said. “He became such a co-leader. He doesn't want to lose, and he instilled that in me. I don't want to lose either.”

ASU hosts their Senior Day on Saturday against Cal.

 

Reach the reporter at mtsteine@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @MarcTSteiner

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