ASU men's basketball falls to San Diego State in first road matchup of season

After going back and forth with the Aztecs, the Sun Devils failed to maintain their halftime lead, ultimately leading to a 65-63 loss

ASU men's basketball fell to San Diego State University 65-63 Thursday night in the team's first road game of the season.

The Sun Devils just came off a win against the University of North Florida, winning by a score of 72-63 before heading out to San Diego. The last time the Sun Devils played the Aztecs, on Dec. 10, 2020, the Aztecs came out on top by a score of 80-68. 

This was the first matchup between the two teams in San Diego since the 2016-17 season, and under head coach Bobby Hurley, the Sun Devils are currently 8-2 in non-conference road games. 

Early in the first half, ASU struggled to keep possession of the ball, completing four turnovers in the first 5 minutes of the game. With 11:27 left in the first half, ASU trailed SDSU by three after sophomore guard Jay Heath scored his first three-pointer as a Sun Devil. 

After a turnover by graduate student forward Kimani Lawrence with 8:10 left in the first half, SDSU capitalized with a layup by sophomore guard Keith Dinwiddie Jr. to make it 22-17 in favor of the Aztecs. 

ASU brought it back with two free throws by Heath and a layup from graduate student guard Marreon Jackson to make it 25-24 in favor of ASU. However, SDSU kept it close, leading by one point, 26-25 with 3:56 left in the first half.

Going into halftime, ASU lead SDSU 30-28 after a three-pointer by Jackson at the buzzer. Lawrence highlighted the first half for ASU, scoring 10 points and shooting five for six from the field goal line. Lawrence also lead the Sun Devils in rebounds going into the half with six.

Going into the second half, ASU came out looking stronger with a second chance three-pointer from sophomore guard DJ Horne, extending the Sun Devils' lead to eight over the Aztecs.

However, SDSU fans were roaring after a technical foul call on SDSU senior guard Matt Bradley, giving ASU the free throw opportunity for Jackson with 16:52 left in the second half. ASU led SDSU 39-33 with 15:57 remaining in the second half. 

After a turnover by Horne at 15:33, SDSU senior guard Adam Seiko hit a three-pointer, tying ASU at 39 a piece. 

With 7:54 remaining in the second half, ASU led 49-46, but the score stayed incredibly close throughout. Jackson led ASU with total points with 16 on the night, followed by Lawrence with 14. 

The two teams were tied at 59-59 with 3:06 remaining in the second half, and with 1:22 left in the game, junior forward Jalen Graham obtained two free throws after a personal foul by senior forward Nathan Mensah. However, after two missed free throws, the Aztecs responded with a jumper by senior guard Trey Pulliam, making it 64-63 with 56 seconds remaining in the game. 

The Sun Devils failed to come back in the final seconds of the game, leading to a 65-63 loss to the Aztecs, only ASU's second loss in the history between the two schools. 

ASU men's basketball will take on Baylor University next at the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas, on Nov. 24 at 5:30 p.m. MST. 


Reach the reporter at lhertz@asu.edu and follow @laurenrachell_ on Twitter.

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