Up three with nine seconds on the clock, ASU men’s basketball was moments away from celebrating a fourth conference win. But Utah Utes’ junior guard Sedrick Barefield only needed five seconds to burst up the court and nail a three-pointer, sending the game to overtime, where the Sun Devils would lose 80-77.
“I wish I had a timeout,” head coach Bobby Hurley said. “We had to use two in the first half. We just didn’t have the extra one that I like to have at the end of the game because that would’ve been a great situation to try and call a timeout and let the guys become aware of what we’re going to try and do late game.”
Without a timeout, the Sun Devils watched as the game clock hit zero, extending the tug-of-war for another five minutes.
Senior guard Tra Holder kept ASU in the game after trailing for most of the first half. Holders’ 23 points on Thursday were his highest since ASU's overtime loss to Colorado on Jan. 4.
Despite Holder’s scoring resurrection, it was freshman guard Remy Martin who put the Sun Devils in the driver’s seat after looking down the barrel of a 40-33 halftime deficit.
With under 11 minutes ticking in the second half, Martin rolled in a layup, drained back-to-back threes and knocked down two free throws.
The 10-0 run gave ASU a two-point lead.
“I just let the game come to me. I know the first half I didn’t really do as well as I needed to. I felt like I needed to be more aggressive. But, coach allowed me to go out there and make plays, and that’s just what I did,” Martin said. “I was confident throughout the whole game — just, it doesn’t matter because we didn’t come out with the win tonight.”
However, just minutes after Martin’s scoring barrage the Sun Devils let the Utes hang around.
ASU's rough stretch from the field (1-10) gave Utah’s senior guard Justin Bibbins an opening to continue dropping dimes from behind the arc.
Bibbins’ 15 points all came from three-point land, but his night was cut short after fouling out late in the second half.
Both teams' offenses were reluctant to give way during overtime – through the first two minutes neither team missed a shot.
Nevertheless, one team was bound for defeat, and it just so happened to be ASU.
The Sun Devils' two minute scoring drought in the end was the fateful dagger.
“I know we just got to hit shots, when we have open shots, we had some nice looks from the corners, and we just didn’t make the threes. We needed like three more to go in,” Hurley said. “Based on the quality of those shots, and some of them were without any defense around us. So when we have those opportunities we got to convert.”
ASU has a few days to hit the reset button prior to a meeting with the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday, Jan. 27.