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Last-second, game-winning floater by TCU ends ASU men's basketball's season 23-13

The Sun Devils fell 72-70 to the Horned Frogs Saturday in NCAA Tournament Round of 64. It was a game full of emotion, it's 'tough right now, but it's going to pass'

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TCU forward JaKobe Coles (21) throws up a last-second shot to put the Horned Frogs ahead and winning 72-70 against ASU on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Ball Arena in Denver. 

DENVER — It is only fitting that an ASU men's basketball season that featured the high of a buzzer-beating road win over rival Arizona and the low of a 37-point loss to San Francisco ended with a game that provided ASU fans with a comprehensive spectrum of emotions.

The story of the game, ASU's season and the Sun Devils' NCAA Tournament run, was told in its final 15 seconds, ending then with a 72-70 loss to the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. 

ASU senior forward Warren Washington, who finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds, said it will take time before he fully processes the game's result.

"At the end of the day, everybody wanted to win," Washington said. "We're all competitors. It's going to be tough right now, but it's going to pass, and we're going to get through it."

After ASU junior guard DJ Horne tied the game at 70 with a sidestep 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining, No. 6-seed TCU called its final timeout. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon drew up a pick and roll that led sophomore forward JaKobe Coles draining a game-winning floater with just a little over one second left.

Fifth-year guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. then in-bounded the ball to sophomore guard Frankie Collins before men's basketball head coach Bobby Hurley had a chance to call his final timeout. Collins' heave from nearly full-court sailed over the backboard. 

"I'm just heartbroken for these guys, giving me everything they had all year," Hurley said after the game. "It would take the last shot to put us away."

ASU men's basketball head coach Bobby Hurley stands on the sidelines during the Sun Devils' matchup against the TCU Horned Frogs on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Ball Arena in Denver. ASU lost 70-72. 

With the loss, ASU finishes its season 23-13, its best record since 2018-19, which also ended in a Round of 64 loss. Hurley was frank about the state of the team after an up-and-down season.

"Did you watch the game? That's the state of the program."

If you only watched the game's first four minutes, you would think the program was in a state of complete disarray.

TCU started 6-6 from the field and took a 15-4 lead in just over four minutes. ASU went 1-6 from the field and 0-3 from three in the same span.

At the under-16 media timeout Hurley substituted sophomore guard Jamiya Neal and senior forward Alonzo Gaffney into the game. The two of them scored nine straight points, and soon after, redshirt senior guard Luther Muhammad added five straight of his own. 

The bench mob of Neal, Gaffney and Muhammad finished the first half a perfect 6-6 from the field for a combined 15 first half points.

Hurley addressed each of those three, as well as reserve freshman forward Duke Brennan, by name in the post-game press conference, expressing admiration and pride for their contributions throughout the season.

In no game were those contributions more prescient than against TCU. ASU outscored the Horned Frogs by 15 points when Neal was on the floor, good for a team high, and none of the four players ASU brought off the bench finished the game with a negative plus/minus. 

A Collins dunk on TCU redshirt senior Chuck O'Bannon Jr. and an ASU senior guard Devan Cambridge reverse dunk on a fast break highlighted an 8-4 Sun Devil run to start the second half that gave ASU its largest lead of the game and seemed to put Hurley's squad in control.

But just as ASU seemed ready to put the game away, TCU junior guard Mike Miles Jr. showed why he was selected as an AP All-American Honorable Mention before the NCAA Tournament.

Three empty ASU possessions accompanied three trips to the free throw line for Miles Jr., who went 5-6 over that stretch, bringing TCU to within six points. 

"I'm big on getting to the line and seeing the ball go in," Miles Jr. said after the game. "I just tried to stay aggressive, get to the rim and try to finish or get the contact and draw the foul."

Miles Jr. finished the game with 26 points on 6-15 from the field and 12-14 from the free throw line.

ASU senior center Warren Washington (22) puts up a shot over a TCU defender during the Sun Devils' matchup against the Horned Frogs on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Ball Arena in Denver. ASU lost 70-72. 

TCU continued to chip away at the Sun Devil lead until a pair of senior guard Damion Baugh free throws with 34 seconds left gave the Horned Frogs a 69-67 lead, their first since four minutes remained in the first half. 

A rare Miles Jr. missed free throw seconds later ultimately set up Horne's game-tying 3-pointer. Horne led the team in scoring with 17 points on 4-5 from deep. 

This was Hurley's third trip to the NCAA Tournament, the most by an ASU coach since Ned Wulk led the team to nine tournament appearances in a 24 year stint as coach that ended in 1982.

Next season is the final year on Hurley's current contract extension, which was signed in the summer of 2019, after the team's last NCAA Tournament appearance.

Edited by Piper Hansen.

Reach the reporter at and follow @_alexwakefield on Twitter. 

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