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ASU's second half flurry not enough in rivalry game as Sun Devils fall 69-60 to Arizona

Poor shooting and foul trouble plagued ASU's attempts to take advantage of a slow Arizona second half playing in front of a season-high 12,500 fans

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Junior guard DJ Horne (0) looks for an opening in the Wildcat defense at the ASU vs. UA men's basketball game at Desert Financial Arena on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. ASU lost 60-69.

Arizona State's sophomore guard Frankie Collins had 12 points, five rebounds and six assists but it wasn't enough for the Sun Devils who fell to Arizona 69-60 at Desert Financial Arena on New Year's Eve. 

Collins was ASU's only consistent source of offense throughout the contest, and the only Sun Devil in double figures. Senior forward Warren Washington added six points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. 

Poor shooting plagued ASU, who shot 2-16 from the three and only 29% from the field in the first half, leading to a 17 point halftime deficit. 

Arizona's efficient offense gave the Wildcats control early, activating the Arizona fans in Tempe. Arizona's offense was true to its winning form in the first half, shooting 5-12 from the three and 14-15 from the free throw line to take a 45-28 lead at halftime.  

Freshman forward Duke Brennan's six points, six rebounds and consistent hustle in the first half kept ASU within striking distance. 

The Sun Devils emerged from halftime with newfound energy and began the second half with an 6-0 run, cutting the deficit to single digits in just two minutes. A barrage of Arizona turnovers created easy offense for ASU who extended that run, bringing Arizona's lead to just 49-47 at the 13:06 mark. 

ASU's chances of completing an improbable second half comeback took a massive hit when fifth year guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. and Collins picked up fourth fouls within 20 seconds of each other with just over 10 minutes remaining. Without their steady offense, ASU was unable to stave off Arizona's preceeding run, which gave Arizona a 59-50 lead that they never gave up.

The Sun Devils were given a gift late by Arizona's junior forward Azuolas Tubelis, who shoved senior guard Devan Cambridge on a dead ball under Arizona's own basket. It was deemed a flagrant one foul, and Cambridge hit both free throws to cut the Arizona lead to 64-58 with 2:16 remaining. On consecutive possessions, ASU had chances to make it a one possession game which led to two missed contested 3-pointers from Cambridge Jr., and Arizona walked away with the victory. 

Tubelis had 21 points and nine rebounds and junior center Oumar Ballo added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats. After a 5-12 first half, Arizona shot 0-10 from the three point range in the second half, bringing them to just 22.7% overall. 

The game featured a season-high 12,582 fans, including Gov. Doug Ducey. 

The loss brings Arizona State to 11-3 and 2-1 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils will look to snap their first losing streak of the season as they take on Washington State at Desert Financial Arena Thursday at 6 p.m.

Edited by Piper Hansen.

Reach the reporter at and follow him @_alexwakefield on Twitter. 

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