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ASU men's basketball captures first win at Matthew Knight Arena against Oregon

DJ Horne scored 23 points to help bring the Sun Devils their first conference win of the season

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ASU sophomore guard DJ Horne (0) guards a player during a game against UC Riverside on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 at Desert Financial Arena. ASU lost 66-65.

After a disappointing outing against Washington State, the Sun Devils stuck a fork in the Oregon Ducks 69-67, Sunday night. 

Prior to this night, ASU had never won at Matthew Knight Arena.

Early in the first half, the Sun Devils had an added bounce in their step and rose to an early 21-14 lead before the second media timeout. In the first half, ASU shot 44% from the field and 57% from the three-point range in the half. 

After a string of missed shots and turnovers, the Devils saw their lead quickly dwindle away. The Ducks flew to a 30-31 lead at halftime.

It was an improvement from the last game, as the Sun Devils scored more points during the first half of this game than they did during their entire match against the Cougars.

ASU played strong defense and drew multiple fouls throughout the game, keeping the score close. However, bad shot selections by freshmen Jamiya Neal and graduate Marreon Jackson helped bring the Ducks to within two at the under the eight-minute mark.

The two teams were tied at 54-54, but with 2:52 left in the game, junior Alonzo Gaffney fouled out, giving the Ducks momentum and two free throws for a 56-54 lead. 

With 30 seconds left, junior Jalen Graham was fouled and brought ASU to within one with free throws. 

Following successful free throw attempts by sophomore Franck Kepnang, the Devils had a chance to send the game to overtime. Sophomore DJ Horne, who led the team in points, nailed a long-three pointer to tie the game at 60 at the end of regulation. 

Overtime featured back in forth action, with both teams taking the lead. With 11 seconds left, sophomore Jay Heath drained a three-pointer, giving the Devils a two-point lead 69-67. Horne led the team in total points with 23 on the night, followed by Heath with 14.

Horne's impressive offense helped keep the Devils close. His defense at the end of overtime gave the Sun Devils their first win at Matthew Knight Arena, snapping a five-game losing streak.

ASU men's basketball will take on Grand Canyon in Tempe on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. MST. 

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Aayush Gupta

sports reporter

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