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ASU men's basketball suffers disappointing loss to Oregon State

ASU's late-game heroics fell short on Saturday night in Corvallis

ASU senior guard Tra Holder (0) squares up on defense during the first half of a game against Oregon State on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

Since ASU head coach Bobby Hurley took over the men’s basketball program in 2015, the formula to beat the Sun Devils has been simple – dominate the paint. Arizona did it last week, Oregon did it on Thursday and Oregon State did it Saturday night, defeating the Sun Devils 79-75.

The Beavers outscored ASU in points in the paint, 44-26, which anchored their 79-75 win over the Sun Devils on senior night.

Despite being down by 15 in the second half, ASU didn’t make it easy for OSU. The Sun Devils made yet another late game push, before coming up short in Corvallis. 

Senior guard Tra Holder knocked down a three as he drifted to his left to tie the game at 75 with 1:01 remaining in the game. His game-tying shot was part of a 9-0 run over a minute and 30 seconds that ASU used to get back into the game. 

Following the three, redshirt freshman forward Romello White was called for a foul (on the floor) and sent junior forward Drew Eubanks to the free-throw line. Eubanks made both to put OSU ahead 77-75. 

Senior forward Kodi Justice missed a three-pointer out of a timeout, ASU was then forced to intentionally foul. Redshirt sophomore forward Tres Tinkle missed both free-throws, but freshman guard Ethan Thompson grabbed the offensive rebound. 

After another intentional foul, Thompson was sent to the charity stripe and made both free throws to seal the Beavers' 79-75 win. 

Holder finished the game with a game-high 23 points on 54 percent shooting and made all six of his free throws. Saturday night's performance comes after a game in which he was held scoreless against Oregon on Thursday.

Senior guard Shannon Evans II ended with nine points, and Justice added 12 points. Although, combined they shot just 5-for-19 (26 percent) from the field, they also had eight of the team’s 16 turnovers. 

On the flip side, all of OSU’s starters were in double figures against ASU, and they shared the ball effectively – 19 assist as a team, compared to ASU’s nine. 

Eubanks finished the game with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. The team’s leading scorer, Tinkle, added another 15 points, eight assist and eight rebounds for the Beavers. 

ASU struggled from the beginning of the game, especially in the first half where they committed 12 turnovers. 

They failed to get out on transition, which resulted in just two fast-break points in the first half and six in the entire game. ASU also only led just once the entire game. 

The Sun Devils are on a three-game losing streak and look to end on a positive note when they host California and Stanford at home next week to close out the regular season. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @felipecorraljr on Twitter.  

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