Arizona State holds off NC State 79-76 - Sports Illustrated

Arizona State holds off NC State 79-76

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NEW YORK (AP) After dealing with a preseason foot injury and spraining his ankle last week, Savon Goodman was a force for Arizona State.

Goodman collected 21 points and 16 rebounds as Arizona State withstood a late run by North Carolina State and advanced to the championship game of the Legends Classic with a 79-76 victory Monday night.

''Savon was all over the glass and he's so active,'' Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said. ''He was a force for us. When he plays with that energy he really can take our team to a different level and he made his free throws too which was big and NC State is pretty physical and athletic. For him to do what he did shows what he's capable of as a player.''

Goodman turned in his seventh career double-double by shooting 8 of 15 from the floor and making 5 of 6 free throws in his first start. Goodman played 30 minutes after averaging 19 minutes in his first three games, including 14 in Thursday's win over Kennesaw State when he injured his ankle.

Goodman showed little effects of the injuries and scored 14 of his points after halftime. His biggest basket was a layup with 1:24 remaining which snapped a 73-73 tie.

Tra Holder led the Sun Devils (3-1) with a career-high 22 points. He scored 13 in the second half and his 3-pointer with 66 seconds remaining provided Arizona State with a 78-73 lead.

''Recently we've been having mediocre practices before the game,'' Holder said. ''I think this last practice we had was a good one. I think it just translated to how we played today.''

Anthony Barber led the Wolfpack (2-2) with 22 points. Maverick Rowan added 14 for North Carolina State, which lost despite shooting 65 percent in the second half.

''Our concern right now is making sure we get better,'' North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said. ''I don't think we're a great basketball team right now. I thought our guys battled and we played pretty hard but we've just got a number of situations where it's a key play and a key time and a team has to learn how to make key plays at the right time.''

The Sun Devils will face Marquette in Tuesday's championship game, and the Wolfpack will play No. 22 LSU in the consolation game.

Holder's basket became the decisive margin when Barber hit a layup through traffic with 6.1 seconds remaining, making it 78-76. Following a timeout, Gerry Blakes was fouled by Rowan with four seconds left and split a pair at the line.

After Arizona State called a 30-second timeout, Cody Martin threw a long pass from the baseline but it was broken up by a Sun Devils defender. Following a review, North Carolina State retained possession.

Cody Martin inbounded from in front of the North Carolina State bench and Barber missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Before the dramatic finish, Arizona State took a 64-54 lead on a layup by Eric Jacobson with 8:44 remaining. North Carolina scored the next seven points, but 3 1/2 minutes later the lead was gone. The Wolfpack went on a 13-2 run and took a 67-66 lead on a layup by Lennard Freeman and neither team led by more than two. Until Holder's 3-pointer.


Arizona State: Arizona State has connections to North Carolina State on its coaching staff. Assistant Levi Watkins helped lead the Wolfpack to four straight NCAA tournament appearances (2001-2005) and also was on Mark Gottfried's staff in 2012 when NC State reached the Sweet 16. Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley won six of eight regular-season games as a player for Duke from 1989-1993.

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack played with eight scholarship players available. NC State lost three of its top four scorers from last season and lost guard Terry Henderson to torn ligaments in his right ankle seven minutes into the season. Barber tied a career high by making 12 free throws and handing out eight assists.


Arizona State: Marquette on Tuesday.

North Carolina State: LSU on Tuesday.


This item has been corrected to fix team nickname in 3rd paragraph.