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Old 03-08-2018, 07:31 AM
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Default Colorado 97 Arizona State 85 (PAC 12 Tourney)
LAS VEGAS – The Arizona State men's basketball team was unable to overcome a hot shooting performance by Colorado in a 97-85 loss to the Buffaloes in Wednesday's opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Remy Martin, the Pac-12's co-Sixth Man of the Year, led ASU with 20 points (one point short of tying his career high). Kodi Justice, Tra Holder and Shannon Evans II posted 14 points each while De'Quon Lake added 12 points for the Sun Devils (20-11), who shot 48 percent and had only three turnovers. Lake led ASU's effort on the glass with eight as he came two rebounds shy of recording a double-double.

The Buffaloes put six players in double figures led by McKinley Wright, who had 20 points. Dominique Collier, who paced Colorado with three triples, added 17 points.

Both teams made 13 3-pointers, but the Buffaloes (17-14), who shot 53 percent for the game, were more efficient making 62 percent of their attempts (13-21) while the Sun Devils made 41 percent (13-32).

Colorado also made the most of its opportunities at the free throw line where it made 90 percent of its attempts (18-20) while the Sun Devils connected on 57 percent of their free throws (12-21), 17 percentage points below their season average of 74.3 percent.

"(It was a) disappointing loss," ASU head coach Bobby Hurley said. "You want to advance. You want to give yourself an opportunity to win a championship, and it just wasn't the case today."

Down by four points at the half, the Sun Devils came out with a 5-0 run to take 42-41 lead after Romello White's layup with 18:45 left.

Neither team led by more than two points the first seven-plus minutes of the second half. Justice would finally change that after his 3-pointer gave the Sun Devils a 58-54 lead with 12:51 remaining.

ASU would continue to maintain a four-point advantage after Holder's jumper put the Sun Devils up 60-56 with just over 12 minutes left.

The game would start to shift in Colorado's favor as the Sun Devils went nearly five minutes without a field goal. During that same stretch the Buffaloes outscored ASU 15-1 and took their first double-digit lead after George King's layup gave Colorado a 71-61 lead with 7:40 remaining.

After Colorado's scoring run the Sun Devils tightened things up on the defensive side as they did not allow the Buffaloes to score for more than three minutes. Unfortunately for ASU it could only cut five points off the deficit at the same time Colorado's offense temporarily went into hibernation.

Colorado's next field goal, a layup by King, started a run of six straight points in 58 seconds that put the Buffaloes back up by 11, 77-66, with just under three minutes left.

The Sun Devils could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way as the Buffaloes made nine free throws in the final 90 seconds to seal the win.

"I thought we had too many breakdowns on defense" Hurley said. "We allowed the percentages that Colorado shot both in two-point field goals and particularly three-point field goals. Those percentages were excellent… I thought we had decent control of the game in the second half. Had some points, but then we stopped getting stops on defense. We went through a patch where we struggled at the free-throw line."

The Sun Devils led (12:08) or were tied (2:53) with the Buffaloes for more than 15 minutes of game time in the first half. The two teams combined to connect on 13 triples over the first 20 minutes (Colorado – 7-11/ ASU – 6-14). The Sun Devils led by as many as six after Evans connected from downtown with 6:54 left in the first half.

After Martin's 3-point play put ASU up 37-33 with 2:08 remaining in the half, the Sun Devils hit a cold spell on the offensive end as they missed their last three shots of the half. The Buffaloes on the other hand hit eight of their last 10 shots and outscored the Sun Devils 8-0 over the last 1:40 of the half to take a 41-37 lead at the break. Martin led ASU with nine points in the first half.

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